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North Las Vegas Amazon building sold for $110M, biggest deal amid pandemic

Updated June 23, 2020 - 4:42 pm

The developer of an Amazon warehouse in North Las Vegas has sold the building for $110 million, the priciest real estate sale in Southern Nevada since the coronavirus pandemic hit, records show.

VanTrust Real Estate sold the 855,000-square-foot building, dubbed the Tropical Distribution Center, to Preylock Holdings. Built last year, the facility sits on a 71.5-acre plot at 6001 E. Tropical Parkway, near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The $110 million sale closed last month, property records show.

Preylock, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm, declined to comment.

Developers have been on a warehouse-building spree in Southern Nevada for years, in many cases filling them with e-commerce distributors. North Las Vegas, where big chunks of land have been available at relatively low prices, has been an especially popular construction spot.

The Amazon facility was a “build-to-suit” project for the online retail giant, according to VanTrust’s website, meaning it was designed to the user’s specifications.

VanTrust hired a broker to shop the building around before the pandemic hit. If would-be buyers disappeared amid the turmoil, the developer would have taken it off the market and held it longer, according to VanTrust executive vice president Keith Earnest, who oversees its projects in Southern Nevada and other markets.

“Did everybody’s hearts skip a beat? Probably,” he said.

VanTrust went under contract to sell the building in April, after the outbreak upended daily life with sweeping business closures and other shutdowns, Earnest said.

It wasn’t the first time VanTrust sold an Amazon-occupied facility in North Las Vegas. In late 2017, it sold an 813,120-square-foot building for $73.4 million to Asian real estate giant GLP.

A spokeswoman for Seattle-based Amazon, which operates multiple distribution centers in Southern Nevada, did not respond to a request for comment.

Southern Nevada started 2020 with billions of dollars’ worth of real estate projects underway and some big-money property sales. In January, New York financial giant The Blackstone Group announced a $4.6 billion deal to purchase the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay’s real estate through a joint venture and lease them back to casino giant MGM Resorts International.

The pandemic, however, turned Las Vegas upside down in March, with Gov. Steve Sisolak ordering casinos and other businesses closed to help contain the virus’ spread. The Strip effectively shut down, and job losses skyrocketed.

Since March, property records show, the VanTrust-Preylock deal is the most expensive building sale recorded in Clark County.

Other commercial real deals during the pandemic include a bulk purchase near McCarran International Airport. Lincoln Property Co. announced last month it acquired six industrial buildings, spanning a combined 425,752 square feet, in the Hughes Airport Center business park.

The total sales price was $72 million, property records indicate.

Lincoln went under contract to buy the buildings before the pandemic hit, regional partner Dave Krumwiede said.

The industrial real estate market drew plenty of investors before the crisis and, Krumwiede said, has since “picked up a lot of steam,” given the masses of people who have been stuck at home and shopping online.

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

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