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LAS VEGAS-A former division manager for Panattoni Development here has launched PAR Development Inc., which will specialize in industrial projects in the Greater Las Vegas area. For his first build, Jason Kuckler is preparing to develop Port Park, a 175,000-sf, four-building project in the southwestern portion of the valley that would be visible from Interstate 215.

The 10-acre development site sits on West Post Road west of Buffalo Drive, across the street from the new Las Vegas campus of publicly traded International Game Technology. Kuckler paid $8.2 million for the 10-acre property, according to county property records.

Kuckler opened the local division of Panattoni in 2003 and for the last four years has overseen development here for the company. Kuckler tells GlobeSt.com he’s going out on his own for a new challenge, which includes learning more about the private equity and legal facets of the development process, which at Panattoni were handled by different teams.

For his first deal as PAR Development, Kuckler says he financed the purchase of the property with a local bank and is financing the design, entitlement and permitting phases with equity from a few private partners. The total development cost will come in around $31 million, he says. The project is slated to break ground in the second quarter with completion scheduled for the fourth quarter.

“We’ve got the zoning and entitlements completed and we are anticipating permits will be ready in April or May,” he says. “We initially thought it would take until September to get the permits, but the slowdown in the housing market has apparently freed up government agencies and actually sped up the permitting process.”

As for construction financing, Kuckler says it’s in the works but ultimately will require some pre-development commitments. “Lenders seem to be much more skittish on speculative projects than they were a year ago,” he says. “A lot are requiring presales or preleasing for between 25% and 50% of the project.”

The project is designed as two 40,000-sf buildings and two 48,000-sf buildings, each divisible to 19,000 sf. “Initially we planned to only offer the buildings for sale, but with the sale market tapering off we also are starting to market them for lease with an option to buy,” he says. “We’ve got five proposals out, some for lease and some for purchase, but it seems that with the market and the economy companies are waiting on the a sidelines to see what happens with their business.”

The asking rate for purchase of a building in shell condition is $1.75 to $1.85 per sf. The asking lease rate is still being determined. Knuckler retained his former employer, Panattoni, as the general contractor for the project. Dan Doherty of Colliers International has the marketing assignment. Tectonics Design Group is the architect of record.

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