Siegel Group Continues Vegas Buying Spree

March 17, 2008

By Brian K. Miller

LAS VEGAS – The Siegel Group Nevada Inc., a commercial real estate and business development company is adding another property to its Siegel Suites chain of “flexible stay” apartment properties in the Las Vegas Valley. The company on Friday paid $14.5 million for the Mark Twain Apartments, a 228-unit complex built in the 1980s on 4.3 acres at 955 E. Twain Ave., near the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

“This newest acquisition is centrally located between two of our properties and these economies of scale will reduce our operational costs while further strengthening our presence in the area,” says Sasco Properties EVP Judith Perez.

Siegel executive Michael Crandall tells that Siegel’s property management division Sasco Properties will immediately begin a “substantial” renovation program to correct “years of deferred maintenance,” thereby bringing the property up to the standard of its Siegel Suites brand. The property will be renamed Siegel Suites Twain II and, like all Siegel Suites properties, will provide larger-than-average residential accommodations without the commitment of a long-term lease agreement.

The Siegel Group added several properties to its Siegel Suites business in 2007, bringing its unit total to 2,700. In October, it acquired three properties including Emerald Suites Tropicana, a five-year-old, 225-key hotel on 4.13 acres adjacent to Tropicana Avenue, just west of Interstate 15, for $20.25 million; the Falls apartment complex, a 230-unit, 4.8-acre property located on South Cambridge Street near UNLV, for $14.75 million; and Coliseum Villas, a 186-unit, 3.64-acre property near the corner of Paradise Road and Twain Avenue, one mile from the Falls apartments, for $13.75 million.

Earlier this year, Siegel Group entered the casino business with the acquisition of the seven-story, 112-room Gold Spike Hotel and Casino in Downtown Las Vegas for $21 million. Combined with the adjacent 58-room Travel Inn it acquired in August 2007 for $5 million, the company controls 1.5 acres located one-half block off the Fremont Street Experience, which attracts some 20 million people annually, as well as a new downtown condominium tower, the soon-to-be-renovated Lady Luck Casino and Fremont East, the city’s burgeoning nightclub district.

The Siegel Group president Stephen Siegel told at the time of the acquisition that he is master planning the chunk of Downtown as a single hotel-casino. Short term plans include a complete renovation of the hotel-casino and the adjacent Travel Inn into a single resort. Siegel says he has $3.5 million in financing lined up for the first phase of the renovation. Longer term plans include additional structures that will expand the gaming, hospitality and retail components. The other half of the block is a parking garage owned by the City of Las Vegas.

The company is in the process of acquiring four or five additional assets in Las Vegas that will close over the next several months. The acquisitions will include additional apartment complexes and at least one casino.