Houston real estate tycoon Gerald Hines is laying another bet on Southern Nevada.
His namesake company has bought the upscale, 308-unit Domain apartment complex in Henderson for $58.2 million.
The sale, by Domain developer Martin Egbert of Nevada West Partners, closed Jan. 29, property records show.
Hines, which announced the purchase today, owns or manages property in 19 countries and has been developing apartment-rental buildings for about five years.
But its purchase of Domain marks its first acquisition of an existing apartment complex, spokesman Mark Clegg said.
He said the company — founded by Gerald Hines in 1957 and still owned by his family — doesn’t have any development plans for the Las Vegas area, “but we’re always looking.”
Management views Las Vegas as "one of the best markets in the U.S." for apartments, said Senior Managing Director Doug Metzler, in a statement provided by Clegg.
"With a strong jobs outlook and a growing and somewhat transient population, Las Vegas was the right market for this investment," Metzler said.
The company paid $188,961 per unit for Domain — more than double the average price in Southern Nevada.
Apartment investors last year paid an average $77,813 per unit, according to brokerage firm Colliers International.
Domain, at 15.5 acres, opened in 2014 at Eastern Avenue and Coronado Center Drive. It’s 95 percent occupied, according to Hines, and loaded with amenities, including a pet park and pet wash, electric-vehicle charging stations and bicycle rentals.
It also charges above-average rents.
According to Domain’s website, monthly rent for available units ranges from $970 (for a one-bedroom, 644-square-foot unit) to $1,399 (for a three-bedroom, 1,390-square-foot unit).
By comparison, the average rental rate in Southern Nevada is $910, according to Colliers.
Domain is part of a wave of apartment complexes — many of which are amenity-heavy and charge higher prices — that have been built or are under construction in the Las Vegas Valley, amid a national apartment boom and slumping U.S. homeownership rates.
Apartment-complex purchases, which soared a few years ago amid steeply discounted prices, have slowed as prices climb higher. But development has heated up, with rental properties comprising one of the biggest sources of construction in the valley.
Investors are building almost entirely in the suburbs, primarily in the southwest valley and Henderson, with just a few developments in urban neighborhoods.
Hines has invested in Southern Nevada before. In fall 2012, when the economy was in worse shape than it is today, Hines teamed with Los Angeles investment firm Oaktree Capital Management to buy 1.1 million square feet of offices in Summerlin, spread across 32 buildings, for $119.5 million.
At the time, the portfolio reportedly was half-empty. Southern Nevada’s office market — vastly overbuilt during the bubble last decade and clobbered by the bust — had a 23.5 percent vacancy rate then, according to Colliers.
Hines and Oaktree listed their 18 remaining buildings, comprising more than 895,000 square feet, last fall. There was no asking price, but the portfolio was 92 percent occupied, according to the listing brokers.
Overall, the valley’s office market now has a 17.8 percent vacancy rate, says Colliers.