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LAS VEGAS-The condo market is sluggish and slowing throughout the US and local projects have not been immune to the downward trend with multiple developments having fallen through or been put on hold. One project moving forward is juhl, a $167-million, 341-unit mixed-unit development going up in the Downtown redevelopment district.

Located at the southeast corner of Bonneville Avenue and Third Street, juhl is already more than 65% pre-sold. The site broke ground in late June in an event ballyhooed by Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman and members of the city council including Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian. Many of the investors, according to Goodman, have come from speculators, from as far away as New York and Los Angeles.

The project has set a 2008 completion date and calls for six towers, ranging from six to 15 stories. The units include loft, penthouse and studio units as well as 24,000 sf of retail space.

Units will range in size from 600 sf to 2,500 sf. Prices range from the high $200,000s to the $600,000s. Additional fees will include homeowner association dues covering trash, water, gas and the use of amenities. The HOA fees are roughly $.35 to $.45 per sf.

Those amenities include 10-foot ceilings with exposed mechanicals, floor-to-ceiling dual-glazed windows for sound insulation and low emission glass for sun protection and energy efficiency. Other features are granite slab countertops, European maple cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and Grohe plumbing fixtures. Each unit comes prewired for high-speed Internet access.

The developer of juhl is San Diego-based CityMark Development, which was selected by the city in 2003 following a nationwide RFP process. The company tied up the 2.4-acre development site the following year for $5.2 million, its appraised value at the time, according to an independent appraisal commissioned by the city. CityMark principal Russ Haley told GlobeSt.com earlier this summer that the construction cost has been locked in with a guaranteed maximum price agreement with the contractor, Turner Construction.

Jenny Machat, an agent with Easystreet Realty says while the local condo market has slowed down some, “there is definitely movement in both resell and new product.” Machat tells GlobeSt.com that speculators are looking at the Downtown corridor, but they’re having to envision what the area will look like. “The area hasn’t been redeveloped yet in drastic measures, so you’re having to sell them on the future.”

Machat adds that investors have to be careful in the condo-frenzy. Many developers have come into the area, with big plans, only to see projects fall through due to financing. Due to being burned on a couple of fly-by-night projects, Machat is sticking to a simple philosophy: “I only work with reputable builders.”

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