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LAS VEGAS-Construction is under way for Newport Lofts, a $90-million, 156-unit condominium project here off Las Vegas Boulevard South at the corner of Casino Center Boulevard and Hoover Avenue. The developer is a joint venture of local developer Sam Cherry (Cherry Development) and Seegmiller Partners LLC, which consists of investors Wes and Clark Seegmiller.The heavy equipment got under way within hours of the $67.1-million construction loan being funded by Corus Bank. The remainder of the project cost will be a combination of developer equity and mezzanine debt. Loan officer Dwight Frankfather tells GlobeSt.com it funded the loan as soon as the joint venture, Newport Lofts LLC, met the preleasing requirement, which has hard commitments for 65% of the units. “I think the bulldozer was running the minute we dropped the loan,” says Frankfather, only half joking.Having met the presale requirement, Frankfather says the developer has backed off sales. “I have no reservations at all about that; unlike most markets, I think that’s what a developer ought to be doing in Las Vegas,” he says. “With prices going up 15% a year, I think a developer can rationally say ‘why shouldn’t I wait until next year?’”The 21-story building will offer 5,310 sf of retail at street level and internal parking on the next six floors. Residences will begin on the eighth floor, providing views of the Strip, Downtown and mountain ranges. Units will include lofts ranging in size from 900 sf to 1,600 sf and two-story penthouses ranging from 1,800 sf to 3,072 sf. Lofts will have 10-foot ceilings and start in the $400,000s; penthouses will have mezzanines and start at $1 million. Among the planned amenities are a rooftop deck, fitness club, exercise track, garden, pool and sundeck.This is Corus Bank’s second loan to Cherry Development. Corus also financed Cherry Development’s construction of Soho Lofts, a neighboring sister project to Newport Lofts. The project broke ground less than a year ago and will be topped off later this year, says Frankfather.

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