Economy, rebranding boost condo sales at The Martin

All it took was a little rebranding and an uptick in the economy.

After an inauspicious launch at the dawn of the recession, The Martin is closing in on its sellout. The high-rise condominium tower at 4471 Dean Martin Drive, just across Interstate 15 from CityCenter, is more than 75 percent sold, and has passed the $125 million sales mark. They are milestones that might have seemed inconceivable two years ago, as the 372-unit tower struggled with the rest of the resort-corridor condo market.

“Things were very difficult all over. Getting a mortgage was very difficult, and people weren’t buying second homes,” said Alan Mark, founder and president of The Mark Co., The Martin’s sales and marketing firm.

In fact, the property had sold just 19 percent of its units.

Enter Mark’s philosophy: If sales aren’t moving, mix it up with a new brand and a few building upgrades. The building, called Panorama North when it opened in 2008, got a new name in 2011 to reflect the Rat Pack cool of Dean Martin. And iStar, the tower’s developer, spent $3 million on improvements, adding lounges to the pool and redesigning the lobby to include a library where residents can grab coffee.

After the renovations wrapped up in early 2012, monthly sales jumped into the double digits, Mark said. And it happened without the price cuts many Strip buildings made: The Martin’s prices didn’t fall below about $300,000, and it kept some of its penthouses listed at upward of $7 million.

“Our key goal was to not drop prices, because we knew demand would increase once the building had become more like a resort,” Mark said.

The economy helped by turning around. Today, less than four months of condo supply is the resort corridor and around it, Mark said. That’s well below the 3½ years of supply that research firm SalesTraq pegged in 2008.

“People just had more confidence. The economy started to ramp up, and we had job growth,” said Mark, who added that buyers are coming from California, Canada and Australia in particular.

Now, with fewer than 100 units left, and a current sales pace of about 10 closings a month, The Martin will be sold out in less than a year, Mark said. It also helps that no new projects are on the horizon.

“People read in the national press about price appreciation in Las Vegas, but I don’t think they realize how much of a lack of new product there is here,” he said.

■ The revival of Inspirada continued Aug. 6, when the Henderson City Council approved plans for public spaces inside the master-plan community. With that thumbs up, builders can go ahead with 30 acres of parks, including two community parks and one neighborhood park. Builders will pay for the $20 million tab and construct the parks. Once they are finished in summer 2014, the builders will donate the parks to Henderson, which will operate and maintain the spaces.

Inspirada halted development in 2008 as the economy stumbled and sales all but stopped. The $557 million price tag on the land didn’t help the community, and creditors forced it into bankruptcy in 2010. It emerged from bankruptcy in late 2011, and four builders — KB Home, Pardee Homes, Toll Bros. and Beazer Homes — are carrying on with development.

■ Brokers with Collier International completed several recent deals.

Dean Willmore, SIOR, and Renae Russo represented David Saxe Productions in its $3.1 million purchase of a 38,818-square-foot industrial building at 5030 W. Oquendo Road.

Scot Marker represented Half Shell Entertainment Group in its 120-month lease of 6,800 square feet of retail space to Golden Route Operations. Golden Route leased the property at 10430 S. Eastern Ave. for $1.6 million. Marker also represented Central Telephone Co. in its 60-month lease renewal at 1321 W. Sunset Road. The 3,710-square-foot lease is worth $523,110.

Chris Connell and Grant Traub represented Mountain Springs Development in its $1.6 million sale of a 12,350-square-foot office building at 316 E. Bridger Ave. Brandon Wiegand of Focus Commercial Group represented buyer Aphrodite Holdings LLC.

Tom Stilley, Lizz Stilley, Ryan Martin, SIOR, CCIM, and Patti Dillon represented Crescent Real Estate Equities in its Hughes Center lease to California-based law firm Cooksey, Toolen, Gage, Duffy and Woog. Jarrad Katz, CCIM, of MDL Group, represented the law firm in the 6,216-square-foot lease.

■ NAI Sauter Cos. represented SNIP Cobblestone LP in its $21.6 million sale of Cobblestone Creek, a 342-unit apartment complex at 4200 S. Paradise Road. Resort Corridor Holdings bought the property.

■ Charles Moore, CSM, and Marlene Fujita Winkel, CCIM, of CB Richard Ellis represented PWREO Eastern and St. Rose LLC in its sale of Southfork Pointe, a 20,147-square-foot shopping center at 9975 S. Eastern Ave.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.

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