High-end realtors keep some of their most fabulous penthouses in Las Vegas a secret. Here’s how to find them.
Pets allowed! The nearly-4,000- square-foot Penthouse Collection Unit 4503 at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental sold without ever being listed.
Panda Express billionaire Andrew Cherng looks perplexed when I walk toward him in the lobby lounge of The Residences at Mandarin Oriental. But I’m not here to suggest a different recipe for Pacific chili shrimp. No, I’m here to see Kamran Zand, the real estate broker Cherng is talking to this Saturday morning. It’s no surprise that Cherng, who already has a unit at the Mandarin and might be on the hunt for more, is talking to Zand. The broker, who himself lives at the Mandarin, literally holds the keys to some of the most coveted and on-the-down-low listings in Las Vegas.
Zand takes me up to see unit 4503, a tricked-out Penthouse Collection unit once under contract by movie/casino mega mogul Kirk Kerkorian. Zand’s plan was to put the 3,980-square-foot condo on the market for $7 million, but he found a local buyer from his high-net-worth database of potential clients without even listing it. The sale, he says, “was the highest price-per-square foot ever for a resale high-rise condo in Las Vegas.”
It’s easy to see the appeal for the buyer, who Zand says is downsizing from a mansion and wants the best in full-service buildings. A secret door, hidden behind mirrors, connects the living room and bedrooms. There are rooms finished in Neolith, a surface that’s scratch-resistant, heat-resistant, stain-resistant and waterproof. A wall of six televisions is controlled by smart-home technology. Automated Kohler toilets, ultra-deep closet shelves and a striking red, self-playing Pramberger piano are other superlatives. Views of the nearby T-Mobile Arena, soon home to Las Vegas’s only major-league sports franchise, is a huge selling point for hockey fans and ballers of all kinds.
On top of the world! Just one Veer penthouse is currently on the market: Veer West Tower #3603.
A typical evening for broker Shari Sanderson, whose recent sales with business partner Michelle Manley at the Mandarin include a $4.1 million 43rd-floor unit and a $4.1 million 47th-floor penthouse, is meeting clients at their apartment and strolling with them to Carbone for dinner. “It’s a social club,” Sanderson says.
It’s a club you want to be in if you’d like to find out about listings that don’t officially hit the market, like the 47th-floor Mandarin penthouse that Manley recently sold for $2.59 million. They also have a wraparound gray shell penthouse in The Martin, which, at just under 5,000 square feet and selling at $390 a square foot, is one of the best deals going right now. Most penthouses are sold gray shell—a blank canvas for the owner to customize, Sanderson explains. But she and Manley have sold most of them—including 35 penthouses in two weeks in 2013—and they’re not even promoting some of their penthouses. “It’s kind of an in-crowd thing to find out what we actually have,” Sanderson explains.
It’s hard to beat the view from the living room at Mandarin Oriental penthouse #3108.
If you want to get on these realtors’ radars, it helps if you already own a high-end property and want some insight on what it’s worth and how best to quietly sell it. The concierges and VIP hosts who help with sold-out show tickets and private-jet bookings might also have a top real estate broker on their frequently dialed numbers.
If all else fails, there are some stunning properties that are publicly listed, like a $2.99 million, 31st-floor Mandarin unit Sanderson recently put on the market. In nearby Veer Towers, Pordes Residential has its final penthouse on the market for $1.9 million. There’s little in the pipeline to compete with them.
“Even if somebody decided to build a condo, it would take years for planning and development and construction,” says Darwin Dizon, the Veer sales director for Pordes Residential. “There’s no space really. Maybe if somebody took down a hotel, but I can’t imagine that.” So what’s already in the sky is the limit. Finding it is the game.