Updated February 27, 2020 - 4:24 pm
New York developer Larry Silverstein is a real estate heavyweight, boasting a portfolio of skyscrapers at the World Trade Center site and other high-rises.
Now he has ventured to Las Vegas to build an apartment complex — though he’s not building in a part of town that is heavy on development.
His company, Silverstein Properties, has teamed with New York financial services company Cantor Fitzgerald and Las Vegas-based Tru Development Co. to build a 334-unit rental complex next to Meadows mall.
They expect to break ground by October, Tru founder Tim Deters said.
Developers have packed the valley with apartment complexes in recent years, but this latest project might seem like a head-scratcher at first glance.
Why is a big East Coast developer building next to a mall that hasn’t been known for booming foot traffic in recent years and not in a fast-growing part of the valley or a high-profile spot around the Strip?
Silverstein Properties CEO Marty Burger said that the Las Vegas residential market “is on fire” and that his group figured a project next to Meadows would work well, offering tenants a short walk to more than 100 clothing shops, eateries and other retailers at the mall.
“We thought it was just symbiotic,” Burger said.
Still, like any real estate project, it is by no means risk-free.
Deters noted the complex would have four levels of residential space above one story of parking, a costlier approach than just offering surface lots, and there are no property comparisons in the immediate area amid the dearth of apartment construction.
The goal, he indicated, is to draw tenants with a quality project near amenities and jobs.
The units on average would span about 900 square feet and cost around $1,150 per month, he said.
“You’re hoping you build it and they come,” Deters said.
The 9.6-acre project site, a vacant lot just south of U.S. Highway 95 between Decatur and Valley View boulevards, also is in a tax-incentive Opportunity Zone.
Created by the tax-cut law of 2017, the zones are designed to “spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities” by offering tax perks to investors, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Silverstein and Cantor announced plans for the project with Tru in December.
Efforts to speak with Cantor for this story were unsuccessful.
Silverstein says it has developed, owned and managed more than 40 million square feet of real estate. Its founder signed a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center in summer 2001, several weeks before the twin towers were destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and has since built multiple office towers there.
The attack killed 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees, about two-thirds of its New York City workforce, reports said.
The apartment complex next to Meadows is Silverstein’s first development in Las Vegas. The company had a connection to the valley through Burger, who previously worked on projects here, including downtown’s World Market Center furniture-showroom hall.
Northcap founder John Tippins, who helped put the apartment deal together and has a stake in the project, cited the proximity to downtown and the Strip, and job growth with hotel construction and the Las Vegas Convention Center’s expansion.
“I just felt like there was such demand,” he said.