CT: Could you tell me a little about yourself, and Cherry Development. How did you get into the industry? What was your background before starting the business?

SC: I am 29 years old and a Las Vegas native. When I was younger, I had aspirations to be a golf pro but soon realised I had a knack for business. When I was 15, I used the money I had earned to buy a vending machine business. I doubled my money within 2 years. By the time I could vote, I was buying and selling real estate. It was mostly properties that I could fix up and sell for a profit. I had such a draw to real estate that I knew the industry was simply where I belonged and I began Cherry Development in 2003.

Cherry Development Corporate, Inc. focuses on residential and commercial mixed-use high-rise and mid-rise real estate projects. I started the company with three friends from high school, Jonathan Jorgenson, Ryan Stibor and Grant Garcia. We have developed Soho Lofts, Newport Lofts and Stanhi, all located in downtown Las Vegas. Cherry Development currently has nearly $500m worth of projects under pre-development and development in the Las Vegas Valley.

CT: I understand that the SoHo Lofts project marked a big change in residential development. Is it fair to say that previous residential developments in Las Vegas were predominantly low rise? Why was this?

SC: It is fair to say. With an abundance of land there wasn’t a need for high-rise residential.

CT: Given that, what prompted you to break with this pattern and build a high rise tower?

SC: We felt that Las Vegas was one of the only major cities in the country with two million people that didn’t have an urban core that consisted of high-rise and mid-rise product. Our focus was to help revitalise the downtown. Soho Lofts was the first residential high rise in the city of Las Vegas. We were fortunate that it brought a tremendous amount of attention, which has attracted numerous other developers to start the beginning of something special.

CT: You’ve completed two high-rise projects, and are now on your third. Other developers have followed your lead. How do you see high-rise projects continuing in Las Vegas? How much more demand do you see?

SC: We feel that this type of living is at the tip of the iceberg. While the housing sector suffers across the board, when it rebounds high-rise condos will be head-to-head with all other developments in Las Vegas.

CT: Do you have plans for any more developments in Las Vegas?

SC: The average age of our company is 29. We hope to be here for a very long time!

CT: How has this affected the lifting industry in Las Vegas: Was there any pressure to find available tower cranes?

SC: Yes a tremendous amount, the Las Vegas strip is crane after crane. With limited product and limited operators it makes off-strip building more expensive. Also for the first time in my life I have counted more than one crane in downtown. I believe at its recent peak there where 12.

CT: I understand you used a “self-jacking form system” on Newport Lofts? What are the advantages of this sort of system? Who supplied it?

SC: We did, we used an automated system for the core that Precision Concrete supplied. This site was extremely tight, we put 23 storeys on 21,000 feet. It saved on scheduling, staging and manpower.