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$5.5M Turnberry Place penthouse No. 1 highest-priced condo in 2018

High-rise condo resales at the Waldorf Astoria in City Center dominated the highest end of the luxury market in 2018 as that sector remains stronger than the housing market as a whole.

The $5.5 million sale of an 8,205 square-foot penthouse at Turnberry Place, however, was the highest selling high-rise condo in Las Vegas last year.

That was followed by a $4.6 million sale in December for a 2,756-square-foot unit on the 45th floor of the Waldorf, renamed from the Mandarin Oriental. Several Realtors said that is the highest per square foot ever paid for a resale condo in Las Vegas at $1,669.

No. 3 on the list is $4.3 million for a 2,998-square-foot unit at the Waldorf. That is followed by $4.15 million paid for a 5,844-square-foot condo at One Queensridge Place. There was a tie for fifth at $3.6 million for two separate units at the Waldorf that are the identical size of 2,247 square feet.

Fifteen of the top 25 resales took place at the Waldorf, which was rebranded in August from the Mandarin Oriental — the original name when the tower opened in December 2009 with 225 residences on top of 389 rooms in the non-gaming hotel. The 15 resales in the top 25 are up from 13 resales at the former Mandarin Oriental in 2017 and nine resales there in 2016.

The statistics were compiled from the Multiple Listing Service from Forrest Barbee, a corporate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and luxury expert.

The Turnberry Place unit at No. 1 on the list is two levels with more than 3,000 square feet of wrap-around terraces and 360-degree views of the valley.

It has a private rooftop pool, five bedrooms, custom lounge and bar, movie room and office. Realtor Ivan Sher was the listing agent.

Jack Woodcock, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, said the unit was acquired from a couple from the San Diego area who were looking to relocate as part of their retirement.

“A lot of times when someone comes here to buy a high-rise they are intent on changing their lifestyle significantly,” Woodcock said.

“We’re seeing more Californians than we have ever seen,” Woodcock said. “It’s a lower price than they are used to. They get so much more for their dollar than they get in California. Everything about California has driven up the prices.”

In 2018, 10 resales were purchased for $3 million and more, up from nine $3 million-plus sales in 2017 and six in 2016. Five of the top 10 resales in 2018 were at the Waldorf.

Kamran Zand, a broker and founder of Luxury Estates International, said he’s lived in the Waldorf for about four years and isn’t surprised it’s so dominate in the luxury high-rise market, calling it the “best building in town” with values that keep rising.

“People who want the best of the best have no other choice,” Zand said. “The Waldorf is the only option. It’s the location and no other buildings that can offer the same amenities as the Waldorf.”

Having residences above a hotel makes it attractive, Zand said.

The hotel has a 27,000-square-foot spa, and there’s a pool deck on the eighth floor with water features and cabanas. There’s around-the-clock security, concierge and valet, a pet park, yoga studio, salon, business center, conference rooms and various dining options, he said.

“You have access to room service and housekeeping, and you feel like you’re not connected to the hotel because we have our own entry and elevators,” Zand said. “You can’t get that anywhere else.”

Zand, who had two of the top 10 sales, both at the Waldorf Astoria, said a lot of interest is coming from California, especially among those looking for an investment.

The Waldorf Astoria penthouse unit that set the square-foot record has two master bedroom suites and living and dining rooms overlooking the Strip. The overall price, however, is below the $6.2 million sales price in 2017 for a unit at the Mandarin Oriental, and the $6.5 million paid for a unit at the Mandarin Oriental in 2016.

The unit’s listing agent, Richard Robledo with Acclaim Real Estate, said buyers are looking at the value in Las Vegas not just for five or 10 years but 20-plus years.

“We sold this condo within hours of going on the market,” Robledo said. “A penthouse at the Waldorf with a Strip facing made it special. The luxury condo market is strong. We are becoming a major international city and people look at it as generational buy instead of just 5, 10 or 15 years. There’s all the activity in the city, and sports and entertainment continues to grow.”

Shari Sanderson, a Realtor with Award Real Estate who represented the buyer, an investor from California, said Californians are escaping high taxes and the business climate. The construction of the Resorts World casino and Raiders stadium make Las Vegas even more attractive, and there’s a limited supply, she said. Even the decline in the stock market isn’t harming sales, she added.

Overall, however, there has been a slight drop but that includes all high-rise price points and not just the high-end luxury. The total high-rise sales through the Multiple Listing Service, the GLVAR reported, were 943 sales in 2018, which is down from 970 in 2017 or 2.7 percent.

Barbee said the high-rise market has remained strong in part because more buyers are able to get financing from banks compared to the past when people had to pay with cash. There’s plenty of wealthy people from the coasts and internationally who like the high-rise condo living, he said.

“There are a lot of people that like that lifestyle,” Barbee said. “And our high-rise are bargain-basement prices compared to Manhattan with $4,000 to $6,000 per square foot and compared to London, Zurich and Tokyo. That’s important because when you’re looking at high-rises, you’re not competing in your own state or country.”

Outside the Strip, the No. 4 sale was at One Queensridge Place. It is a 15th-floor penthouse that has a master suite, two junior suites, office, den, butler’s pantry and four-car garage.

Another off-Strip unit that made the top 10, coming in at No. 8, was a condo in Park Towers at the Hughes Center. The 4,903-square-foot residence sold for $3.1 million.

Two condos tied at $3 million for the No. 9 and No. 10 spots. No. 9 was a 2,563-square-foot Waldorf Astoria unit and No. 10 was a 3,653-square-foot condo in the Panorama Towers.

The strength in the luxury market and demand for units is going to have an impact, according to Mike Mixer, the managing director with commercial real estate firm Colliers International. He said he believes the strong demand and lack of supply along with rising prices will mean more luxury high-rise condos getting built on the Strip.

“I think prices for the luxury component have gotten to the point where it will trigger some mixed-use development on the Strip,” Mixer said.

The demand for luxury has affected other high-rises and their marketing and strategy.

The Ogden in downtown announced its final release of 40 condos for 2019, according to Uri Vaknin, a partner with KRE Capital which acquired The Ogden in 2013 through a partnership with Dune Real Estate Properties.

Vaknin said more than $3.6 million was invested to remodel the remaining condominiums at The Ogden with an additional $1.3 million to be spent this year on 20 select residences — an average of well over $65,000 in luxury upgrades per residence. This is in addition to a $2 million refresh of the lobby, common areas and amenities, made in 2014 and 2015 to upgrade the community with enhanced amenities such as a Sky Deck, social lounge, fitness center and refreshed rooftop pool, he said.

That focus was made because of a shift in consumer demand and a sophistication of the marketplace starting in mid-2018, Vaknin said. They gutted units and upgraded them, including with high-end appliances and finishes. They are also doing higher- end finishes at their One Las Vegas property on the far south Strip, he added.

“A few years ago, buyers were looking for value,” Vaknin said. “Today, they are seeking larger, more luxurious homes. And, to meet the increased demand for more luxurious residences, we have invested heavily to ensure our remaining homes meet buyer expectations.”

The largest Ogden floor plan at 2,044 square feet is priced at $729,900 and has four bedrooms with 2½ baths. Other plans are priced just below $600,000, just below $500,000 and just below $400,000.

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