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Down market helps nonprofit buy space and expand

Goodwill of Southern Nevada is on a development roll.

Plenty of locals are taking advantage of a still-depressed commercial real estate sector to snap up deals on newer and bigger spaces, but Goodwill, a nonprofit that trains and employs the disabled, has reaped the rewards of a down market more than just about anybody.

Starting in 2006, the charity took a six-year break from opening new thrift stores to support its mission. That all changed in early 2012, when Goodwill both unveiled a new concept — a 500-square-foot sales space inside an Albertsons grocery store at 9725 S. Maryland Parkway — and opened its first full-scale store and donation center in six years inside a 12,000-square-foot space at 9385 W. Flamingo Road.

Since then, Goodwill has swapped 13,000 square feet on West Sahara Avenue for 16,000 square feet a few blocks away, doubled the size of its North Nellis Boulevard store to 13,000 square feet, opened a 17,500-square-foot location in Pahrump, and rolled out its first local Deja Blue Boutique, a Summerlin store dedicated to designer and brand-name fashions and home decor.

But Goodwill’s far from done.

Executives announced on Nov. 27 that they’ll build a Las Vegas store from the ground up for only the second time in the nonprofit’s nearly 40 years in Southern Nevada. The 16,000-square-foot location, at 7420 S. Rainbow Blvd., will employ nearly 40 people when it opens in the spring. Goodwill plans to lease the store with an option to purchase.

“Our new Rainbow-Mardon store is truly groundbreaking in every sense of the word,” Goodwill of Southern Nevada President and CEO Steve Chartrand said. “Typically, we lease existing retail space. To be able to design and build this store to specifically suit our needs is an incredible accomplishment.”

Goodwill already has an attended donation center at the site where you can drop off gently used items from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

The store will be Goodwill’s 13th local outpost, up from eight locations at the beginning of 2012. Seven Valleys Construction is the contractor.

In 2013 alone, the charity has served more than 6,000 people and helped 1,900 find employment with local businesses.

■ Despite year-to-year increases in new-home starts, as well as more retail-building and hotel-renovation activity on the Strip, local construction employment is treading water.

That’s according to new numbers from the Associated General Contractors of America. The Las Vegas market was one of 50 out of 315 U.S. metropolitan areas in which building jobs were unchanged year over year in October. The city held steady at 38,200 jobs in the period.

By way of comparison, Las Vegas had roughly 112,000 construction jobs at the industry’s 2006 peak.

Nationally, employment increased in 215 metro areas, dropped in 74 and stayed the same in 50.

Reno’s building sector added 200 jobs, for growth of 2 percent to 9,700 positions.

“October was a good month for construction employment in many parts of the country,” said Ken Simonson, the trade group’s chief economist. “It will take many more months of strong job gains before construction employment returns to peak levels in many parts of the country, however.”

■ A new report from Nevada State Bank’s Private Bank shows how the other half invests.

The bank’s “High Net Worth Report” shows that Nevada households among the top 10 percent of earners have shifted their real estate portfolios from commercial and land holdings to rental homes over the last couple of decades. Just less than 19 percent of wealthy households have nonresidential holdings, down from 27.7 percent in 1989. But 42.1 percent own homes outside of their own places, up from 36.8 percent in 1989.

The change partly reflects concerns over how speculative commercial buys — especially of vacant land — can be, the report said. Rental homes produce income that an empty lot doesn’t.

Interest in land may be coming back, though. With the local economy on the mend and homebuilders putting a squeeze on what land there is, empty parcels are hot: The Bureau of Land Management, for example, is putting 440 acres on the auction block in January. It’ll be the second-largest agency land auction since 2005.

Still, investors could stay relatively cautious, the report said. At about $200,000 an acre, land prices are well below the 2007 average of $940,000.

■ Veteran local commercial real estate broker Kevin Buckley earned a national honor during November’s National Association of Realtors meeting in San Francisco.

Buckley, broker at First Real Estate Cos. in Las Vegas, received the trade group’s Commercial National Award for his contributions to and achievements in commercial real estate. Buckley was one of 59 commercial real estate pros nationwide to get the award, and Nevada’s only honoree.

Buckley is also on the board of the Commercial Alliance Las Vegas, which is the commercial real estate division of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

■ Brokers with Colliers International recently completed several leases and sales.

■ Spencer Pinter represented landlord EJM Arroyo North II Property LLC in an 86-month lease of 8,535 square feet to Elite Foods LLC. The property, at 6560 Tioga Way inside the Arroyo North Business Center, leased for $469,929. Rich Luciani and Jeff Barton of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the tenant.

Pinter also represented EJM Arroyo South I Property LLC in its 62-month lease of 6,818 square feet to Blum Health and Fitness LLC. Arlene Nehls of LSI Properties represented the tenant in the $261,932 deal on space at 7200 Montessouri St. in the Arroyo South Business Center.

Phillip Dunning represented tenant Lascal Corp., dba Taco Bell, in its 120-month lease of 1,881 square feet at 2175 E. Cheyenne Ave., inside Cheyenne Point. David Lipp of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented landlord Cheyenne Point Holdings LLC in the $449,281 deal.

Dean Willmore, SIOR, helped Milton I. Schwartz Revocable Family Trust buy a 4,881-square-foot office building at 6050 S. Fort Apache Road in the Southern Palms Pavilion. Michael Hsu of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented seller Ritaveh LLC in the $336,075 sale.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.

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