LAS VEGAS-A planned retail and office development in the Southwest portion of the Las Vegas Valley is gathering momentum. The listing brokers tell that commitments have been secured from a salon, a smoothie shop and an executive suites operator for the $13-million, 40,000-sf development in the 6000 block of South Durango Drive, which is next to Giuseppe’s Bar and Grill, several blocks east of Interstate 215.

The project is called Catania Center North and South. The landowner is Myles Catania of Las Vegas, which has owned the land for more than a decade. Catania is developing the site with Ron Bures Development. Helix Construction is the contractor for the project. R. Brad Benz and Nick Barber are the leasing brokers for Gatski. The estimated delivery date is early 2009.

The four-building development will cover three acres at South Durango Drive and West Patrick Lane. The development is split into two parcels, one on the north side of Giuseppe’s Bar and Grill and one on the south side. Giuseppe’s, a gaming tavern and restaurant, was built on land previously owned by Catania.

Catania Center South Building One will front Durango with 5,250 sf divisible into three, 1,750-sf units and end caps. Building Two will front Patrick with 7,200 sf divisible in six 1,200-sf units. Both buildings will have patio court space available for certain units. Catania Center North will have 11,000 sf of street-level retail below 10,000 sf of office space. Catania Center North also has room for a pad building ranging from 4,500 to 7,000 square feet that would suit a bank or fast food with drive-through capabilities.

Benz tells that the development site is a solid location given its proximity to the UNLV Research and Technology Park, Southern Hills Hospital, Centra Park and Mosaic at West Village. Moreover, after seeing almost no action for the past several months due to the dislocated credit markets, Benz says he has seen an increase in interest lately.

In addition to the tenants already signed on Benz says he’s got “a couple of others” he’s working with. “It seems like activity has picked up a lot lately,” he says. “After no calls for six months, I’m getting some phone calls. It appears a lot of people are searching for the best deal.”

Speaking of which, the triple-net asking lease rate for retail space in the development currently ranges from $2.25 per sf per month to $3.25, depending on the frontage. The lease rate for the separate pad building will be between $3 and $4 per sf. The asking lease rate for the office space is between $1.85 and $2.00 per sf per month.

Potential construction lenders are looking at the project as two separate developments. Each development likely will have its own preleasing requirement, Benz says.

The south buildings have been designed to attract uses that require high exposure, such as fast food. As for the office-over-retail building, Ben admits the product type has not been particularly sought after in the region but the views will help attract office users and the retail space will be attractive to operations that wants exposure but do not need to be right on the curbside, Benz says.

One built and leased up, a process that could take two years, Benz says the value of the asset will range from $400 per sf to $600 per sf depending in-place NOI, the tenants’ credit and the amount of near-term rollover.

Although based on NOI estimates that have not yet been fully realized, Benz says the owner has already had someone express interest in acquiring the completed development for between $20- and $25 million.