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Luxury apartment complex near M Resort sells for record price

Updated May 27, 2021 - 7:11 pm

After opening in the middle of the pandemic, a luxury Las Vegas apartment complex has been sold for a fortune.

Utah real estate investor Scott Keller acquired Tuscan Highlands, a 304-unit complex at the southern tip of the valley near the M Resort, for $115 million, property records show.

The sale, by developer Bob Schulman, closed May 17.

It amounts to more than $378,000 per unit — an all-time high for a Southern Nevada apartment complex, multiple sources said.

Schulman, founder of Schulman Properties, confirmed the sale Wednesday. Keller, founder of Keller Investment Properties, did not respond to a request for comment.

Like other industries, Las Vegas’ rental market faced plenty of turmoil and questions after the pandemic hit, as many tenants tapped unemployment benefits, stimulus funds or other relief programs to pay their rent amid huge job losses in casino-heavy Southern Nevada.

But the outbreak’s economic pain wasn’t spread evenly, largely affecting lower-wage service-sectors, and Schulman, who charged pricey rents at Tuscan Highlands, said he landed wealthy renters and was signing dozens of leases per month.

Tuscan Highlands, at the corner of Southern Highlands and St. Rose parkways, is loaded with amenities. As touted on its website, the property features a sand volleyball court, a 35-foot rock climbing wall, a pool with a tanning ledge and in-water lounge chairs, cabanas with televisions and refrigerators, and hammocks under “towering grove trees.”

The complex also has a gym and spa, a gaming lounge that includes as a multisport simulator, a soundproof studio, an on-site restaurant and a wine garden.

The apartments span from around 500 to 1,300 square feet, and the average rental rate was around $2.20 per square foot, Schulman told the Review-Journal.

He said that the first tenants moved to Tuscan Highlands last July and that the complex was maybe 75 percent occupied when the sale closed.

Roughly 60 percent of the tenants had moved here from outside Nevada, according to Schulman. He said the average income for tenants in the complex was “way over” $200,000 per year — vastly higher than the typical Las Vegas household — and several earned more than $1 million annually.

“It was a different animal … it’s a safer investment,” Schulman said of the complex.

Overall, Southern Nevada’s apartment market by no means tanked despite the turmoil of the past year.

The average asking rent in the first quarter was around $1,200 per month, up more than 9 percent from a year earlier, and the average vacancy rate was 5.4 percent, down from 6.9 percent, according to figures previously released by the Nevada State Apartment Association

Meanwhile, government-mandated eviction freezes have kept tenants in their homes during the pandemic. But with vaccines rolling out, unemployment shrinking and daily life starting to return to normal, such protections are winding down.

Nevada’s eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of May, and the federal ban is scheduled to end June 30.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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