Apr. 11, 2005


First Manhattan condo building to be completed in December

By HUBBLE SMITH
REVIEW-JOURNAL





Iron workers Friday lay rebar in preparation for a concrete pour atop the Manhattan condominium high-rise project that is being built on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Photo by Clint Karlsen.

Martin-Harris Construction just completed a slab-on-grade pour at the $200 million Manhattan condominium project on Las Vegas Boulevard South at Serene Avenue and will start framing in mid-April, Martin-Harris project engineer Debbie Shuch said.

The first of nine four-story buildings is expected to be completed in December, followed by a building a month, each with 44 to 108 units.

Shuch said about 50 workers were on site for the concrete pour. Steel Engineers has about 20 workers on the project and there are 15 electricians doing the underground wiring, she said.

The biggest challenge in construction of Manhattan is getting Clark County approval of plans and permits because of the rapid growth in condominium developments, she said.

Alex Edelstein, chief executive officer of Gemstone Development, said the project is progressing smoothly, with the exception of permit delays.

About 80 percent of the 700 units have gone to "hard" contracts, meaning the deposit is nonrefundable, he said. Condos at Manhattan start in the $200,000s and go to the high $400,000s.

A lot of condo developers claim they've "sold out" in a matter of days, Edelstein said, but really they're talking about reservations in which deposits, by law, are refundable.

"It's an easy way to place a bet that the price will go up with nothing to lose," he said. "The only time they have to make a hard decision is when you go to contract and your deposit is no longer refundable. Particularly these days, the interest by speculators is so high people are making 10 different reservations at various projects when they only intend to keep one."

At roughly $300 a square foot, Manhattan is a good value compared to some of the high-rise towers that are selling from $500 to $1,000 a square foot, Edelstein said.

Click here to Learn more about Manhattan Condominiums in Las Vegas.