Luxury Henderson apartment complex, abandoned during recession, ready for sale

When Paula Lane toured Vantage Lofts a few years ago, the stylish, mothballed Henderson condo complex was a scary sight.

Windows were boarded up, birds were flying inside, upscale appliances had vanished, and air conditioners were caked in dirt. At one point in recent years, a homeless person moved into the sales office across the street, where the original developers had set up shop to sell million-dollar homes before they abandoned the project.

Today, Vantage is a rental property that’s almost fully leased, charging prices that dwarf most apartment buildings in the valley. And having turned things around, the landlord is looking to cash in.

Vantage owner John Goodman, of Seattle, is under contract to sell the 10-acre, 110-unit project, according to brokers with knowledge of the deal. Neither the buyer’s identity nor the sales price could be confirmed, but brokers said Goodman, who bought Vantage for $ 10 million in 2013, was seeking at least $ 44 million.

Vantage Lofts Upscale Apartments in Henderson

Listing broker John Cunningham, of Jones Lang LaSalle in Phoenix, confirmed Vantage is being sold and said he expects the deal to close in 45 to 60 days. He declined to give other details about the sale.

Some investors who eyed the property discussed paying around $ 30 million, according to broker Patrick Sauter, managing partner of NAI Vegas.

“There’s some crazy money out there, so maybe (he) got more,” Sauter said of Goodman.

Goodman did not return a call for comment.

Perched on a hill at Gibson Road and Paseo Verde Parkway, with clear views of the Strip and downtown, Vantage charges $ 1,400 to $ 4,545 per month in rent. That’s far above the valley’s average rental price of $ 866 per month, according to Colliers International.

Vantage opened last spring and is easily one of the most expensive rental properties in Southern Nevada. But with such perks as gourmet kitchens, floor-to-ceiling windows and a sleek pool area, it’s finding renters. As of last week, 102 units had been leased, according to Vantage business manager Jeffery Arterberry.

It’s one of several new, high-end apartment complexes in the valley bringing big prices and loads of amenities to a largely no-frills, look-alike rental market. Investors are targeting well-heeled professionals and retirees who want a luxury lifestyle without having to deal with maintenance, mortgages and other aspects of homeownership.

Some real estate insiders wonder if too many developers are chasing a small number of customers, but Vantage’s lease-up shows “there’s some untapped potential out there” for the high-end market, Colliers broker Garry Cuff said.

Max Goncalves, a 71-year-old Brazilian native and software executive, moved to Vantage last August. He had an apartment in Turnberry Towers, near the Strip, but wanted something quieter, away from the craziness of the resort corridor.

He learned about Vantage online, and the staff told him the property’s troubled history.

“That was very nice, because usually when you go to rent an apartment, it’s all marvelous, no problems,” he said.

Slade Development pursued the $ 160 million project during the boom years, with condos priced from $ 400,000 to $ 1.6 million. Vantage was scheduled to open in 2007, but Slade mothballed it, partially built, in spring 2008, and filed bankruptcy for the project that June. The developers claimed about $ 72 million in liabilities for Vantage and $ 45 million in assets, namely the property itself.

Slade co-owner Justin Slade filed personal bankruptcy in 2009, reporting in court records to have $ 70 million in liabilities and $ 7 million in assets. His assets included a home and lot in Summerlin that he and his wife later lost to foreclosure; a 9 mm handgun valued at $ 400; an 8-year-old dog named Gracie, valued at $ 20; and two lizards, Draco and Chico, valued at $ 10 combined. Slade Development is apparently defunct, and Justin Slade could not be located for comment.

Vantage sat untouched for years, a visible scar of the building bust. In early 2012, Las Vegas-based Rothwell Gornt Companies bought it out of bankruptcy for an undisclosed sum. Company principal Rich Crighton later said that his group planned to spend $ 15 million to finish Vantage, but instead, he flipped it to current owner Goodman, founder of Goodman Real Estate, in summer 2013.

Lane, regional marketing director for property manager Pinnacle, had visited Vantage a year before, to check the place out for a possible buyer. She walked through the abandoned complex, with birds “dive-bombing around my head.”

“It was a pretty scary thing,” she said of touring the property, “and I did it during the middle of the day.”

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