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$4M penthouse tops Las Vegas condo sales for midyear

Updated July 27, 2020 - 1:28 pm

A Las Vegas philanthropist sold her condo at One Queensridge Place for $4 million, marking the top sale during the first half of 2020 in the high-rise market.

The deal closed June 30 with Zar Zanganeh, broker/owner of Luxe Estates & Lifestyles, as both the buyer’s and seller’s agent. Karin Sporn, the founder of Glaxo Pharma and former chairwoman of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas Women’s Philanthropy Council, sold the high-rise to Sweet World Delta LLC.

The unit, which measures 5,100 square feet, had more than $2 million in renovations completed over two years. There are four bedrooms, five bathrooms and three terraces. It has a four-car garage.

“The unit is absolutely gorgeous,” Zanganeh said. “The seller purchased it a few years ago, gutted the unit, and rebuilt it and changed everything in it completely. It’s far more modern than everything in that building.”

Zanganeh said the high-rise is in a premier corner of the tower with Strip views from the living room, kitchen, great room and master bedroom.

“It had custom bedding and furniture designed for it and artwork and looks like nothing else in that building,” Zanganeh said. “It’s so unique that it sold much quicker than other units. It sold in 52 days. Units in that building sell for $454 per square foot. This one sold for $782 a square foot. There was definitely a premium for all of the upgrades that were done to it.”

That transaction just topped the No. 2 condo sale for the first half of the year at Turnberry Place. David Weinberg, the chief operating officer at Southern California-based footwear company Skechers, paid $3.7 million for a penthouse there.

Weinberg, of Hermosa Beach, California, closed on the sale March 11 in an all-cash deal. The seller was health care company owner/executive Mark Evenstad.

Weinberg paid $649 per square foot for the penthouse on the 33rd floor. It has five bedrooms and seven baths. It measures 5,779 square feet and has its own private elevator that leads to wine walls, a wine-tasting cellar and a full-circle bar.

The master retreat features brocade fabric walls and matching draperies, balcony and a spa bath with double sinks, makeup vanity, separate water closets and architectural tub. There’s even a secret door that leads from the kitchen to the master bedroom.

In addition, there’s a private gym and office. Each living, dining and entertainment room goes out to the four balconies, providing 360 degrees of the Strip and valley. Mahsheed Barghisavar of Mahsheed Real Estate represented the seller. Jerry Masini of Award Realty represented the buyer.

No. 3 on the list for first-half sales closed on March 31 at the Waldorf Astoria in CityCenter. The buyer was Kirk Tang, president of JKCapital of Las Vegas, San Francisco and Beijing, who paid $2.65 million for the unit measuring 2,563 square feet. It has two bedrooms. Frank Napoli of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices represented both the buyer and sellers Peter Koehler and Kory Rydberg.

No. 4 on the list was a unit at One Queensridge Place, which closed March 27 for $2.4 million. It measures 4,792 square feet with four bedrooms. The buyer was Leo Cook. EBC Nevada Trust was the seller. Randy Char of Char Luxury Real Estate was the seller’s agent. Ivan Sher with the Ivan Sher Group with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was the buyer’s agent.

No. 5 on the list saw Nassrin Barabi, CEO at Oztera, a Napa Valley business software solutions company, pay $2.2 million for the two-bedroom, 4,903-square-foot unit at Park Towers. The seller was Marco Roca, the former president and global chief development officer at Caesars Entertainment, who is now the CEO of Reveille Hospitality in Miami. Masini was the seller’s agent, and Char was the buyer’s agent.

High-rise analysis

The luxury existing single-family housing market has fared well and has been comparable to the first half of 2019 despite COVID-19, but the same can’t be said for the high-rise market.

During the first quarter, the 150 sales were up 4.9 percent in the 21 high-rises on the Strip and elsewhere in the valley tracked by Las Vegas research firm Applied Analysis.

During the second quarter, however, there were only 75 sales that brought the total to 225, a decline of 26 percent from the first half of 2019 and half from the first quarter.

Applied Analysis Principal Brian Gordon said the shutdown of hotels and casinos on the Strip in mid-March affected the demand in the high-rise market.

“Those properties that are located along Las Vegas Boulevard appear to be particularly hard-hit given nobody was traveling to Las Vegas and potential concerns about the recovery of the Strip,” Gordon said.

Zanganeh said buyers are looking at single-family homes “more favorably” than high-rise condos. With a home, they don’t have to share elevators and amenities in buildings where social distancing is required.

“There’s a lot of beautiful homes on the market and a lot of great options buyers,” Zanganeh said. “Condos also have higher prices per square foot than single-family homes. As the single-family home inventory shortens a little bit, I think people will start to reconsider condo sales, but they won’t catch up to the volume with single-family homes. For the next two years, the vertical marketplace will trail homes.”

Napoli said when the pandemic hit Las Vegas, the high-rise market slowed down “tremendously,” but he added that within the last month the market has picked up with the reopening of casinos.

“I have listings in Park Towers, Waldorf Astoria, Veer Towers, Panorama Towers and Queensridge, and I’m getting showings on every single one of them,” Napoli said. “There was some concern with Las Vegas Boulevard and hotels and casinos being closed because that’s our neighborhood amenity as a high-rise. The building amenities were also shut down as well with the pool and common areas. But with everything back open, I think that confidence is back in the high-rise market, and we’re seeing normal activity again.”

Char said many who buy into high-rises tend to come from out of town because they’re second homeowners. They weren’t able to come to Las Vegas because of the coronavirus. And, those who are older didn’t come and look at units to protect their health, he said.

“Some of the buildings are not set up to be 6 feet apart,” Char said. “When you get in an elevator to go 40 floors, you have to wait for others to go up in some towers. Do I think it will be like this forever? No. But it has impacted sales absolutely. I anticipate we will see some rebound in the third and fourth quarter. Some of those people (who) were sidelined, as soon as the coast is clear, will come back and buy.”

Prices for high-rises

There was also a contrast in prices between the first quarter and second quarter. Between January and March the price per square foot dropped 0.2 percent from $396 in the first quarter of 2019 to $395 in the first quarter of 2020.

The size of the units that sold were larger, boosting the average price from $497,127 in the first quarter of 2019 to $548,166 in the first quarter of 2020, Applied Analysis reported.

Between April and June, the price per square foot fell to $360 and the average price fell to $437,118, according to Applied Analysis.

During the second quarter, Palms Place and Panorama Towers led the way with 14 sales each. Palms Place had 12 during the first quarter while Panorama had 20 in the first three months of the year.

The average price at Palms Place was $232,929 or $313 per square foot, down from $323,458 or $395 per square foot during the first quarter.

Panorama had a second quarter average sales price of $570,714 or $385 per square foot. That’s up from $559,375 or $374 per square foot in the first quarter.

Only two high-rises showed an increase in sales between the first quarter and second quarter. Trump Las Vegas went from four to five sales, while the Odgen went from six and seven.

The five sales at Trump, a condo hotel tower, averaged $275,378 or $395 per square foot. That’s down from $582,375 or $699 per square foot during the first quarter.

Elsewhere, One Las Vegas had six sales, down from 14 during the first quarter.

Veer Towers at CityCenter had five sales, down from seven. MGM Signature condo hotel and Turnberry Towers had four each. Turnberry Place had two.

Turnberry Towers and Turnberry Place had 16 and 14 sales, respectively, during the first quarter.

There was one sale at the Waldorf Astoria, down from three during the first quarter.

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