NAI Horizon, the third-largest commercial real estate brokerage in Las Vegas, has closed its offices at Marnell Corporate Center and is reorganizing to emerge under a different name with about half the staff, an executive for NAI Global said Tuesday.
David Blanchard, executive vice president for NAI Global, said he’s meeting with 16 brokers from NAI Horizon, including the three top-producing teams, to determine exactly how to move forward with the process.
“I’m here to administer over this situation until we get to a safer position,” he said. “We are not leaving Las Vegas in any way, shape or form. We are absolutely, incredibly stable.”
New Jersey-based NAI Global has 375 offices in 55 countries with more than 8,000 real estate professionals, Blanchard said.
The owners of NAI Horizon decided they could no longer fund the Las Vegas operation and pulled back to their Phoenix base, he said.
NAI Horizon handled $524 million in Las Vegas commercial real estate transactions in 2006, third behind CB Richard Ellis and Colliers International, according to Business Press magazine.
Ron McMenemy, a 25-year real estate broker in Las Vegas, founded NAI Horizon six years ago with partners John Schottenstein and Reggie Winssinger of Phoenix.
McMenemy said he wasn’t happy and “saw the writing on the wall” when his partners hired a president from Utah who tried to run the Las Vegas office from Phoenix. McMenemy asked to be bought out and the deal was completed last year, he said.
“What we learned is companies that have operations in Phoenix or the Southwest think they can jump over to Vegas and it’ll be the same,” McMenemy said. “There’s a very distinct cultural difference between Las Vegas and most markets. You know, Phoenix, they’re light-years ahead of Las Vegas as far as the symphony, dance and the arts. We’re starting to kick it into gear.
“As far as the business culture, down there it’s very bureaucratic in the way of thinking,” McMenemy added. “Las Vegas is known for swashbuckling, rootin’ tootin’ entrepreneurship. It translates over to the way we’re used to doing business. Things get done in Vegas overnight, literally.”
The collapse of NAI Horizon is “absolutely” due to the downturn in the real estate market, McMenemy said, but it’s also due to management doing “too little, too late.”
If management had actively recruited new brokers, the 14,000-square-foot office at 6725 Via Austi Parkway would be full and “rocking,” McMenemy said.
“You’re going to see other companies having challenges,” he said. “Everyone is struggling. If they say they’re making money hand over fist, they’re lying to you. We’ll pull out of this faster than other markets. It’ll all work out.”
McMenemy said he’s been working on developing his own projects and has formed McMenemy Investment Services, a commercial real estate firm at 330 E. Warm Springs Road.
Contact reporter Hubble Smith at email@example.com or 702-383-0491.