Michael Saltman oral history interview, 2014 December 16. OH-02216. [Audio recording]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d1rb6zn3z
Standardized Rights Statement
Larry Larkin became my partner. He was the financial statement and I was the energy and the visionary. He was a fabulous partner. One day we had a big discussion in the Sunrise City Shopping Center on Maryland Parkway just north of DI. For hours, we stood outside on a hot summer day and talked about our backgrounds together. Even though they were so dissimilar, they were so similar. We had the same way of viewing the world, the same way of incorporating people, inclusive relationships, hard-working, high level of morality. We got along just famously. He's older than me. He's still alive. He just was a wonderful guy as a partner. My first project here with Larry was the Village Apartments across from UNLV not far from here. The deal I made with Larry was he would finance it; I would do all the work ultimately, if he put in all the equity, I'd do all the work and detailing. We'd build the project. Then, at the end of the year, he could buy me out of my ten percent interest for whatever value he'd put on the interest, anything from a dollar to whatever the value might be. We built the project. I worked on the project myself and I had a contractor, but I was out there every day working on it. Finished it. Got it occupied. It became a huge success, a hundred percent occupied, a hundred and twenty five units. I went to him a year later, almost to the day, and I said, ?Larry, the year anniversary is up.? He goes, ?What do you mean, Michael?? I said, ?Well, the year's up and now you can decide. We have a finished project. It's worth whatever number it's worth today, significantly more than when we first started, and you can buy me out of my ten percent interest for any value you want to put on it to a dollar to whatever.? He said, ?Absolutely not. I wouldn't even consider buying you out. I love our relationship.? And off we went and for years we built apartments, shopping centers, and office parks, and industrial facilities together. We bought some property, some land and sold some land. We have just an incredible relationship. What a man. Our relationship went from my having ten percent to twenty to twenty five to fifty. Later I got seventy five; he got twenty five, and then ninety ten at the end. I was doing all the work and he was getting pieces of projects because he was my friend and partner, but not putting any more money in. He was?and is?a fabulous guy because he funded the projects whenever we had capital calls. He was a wonderful guy. The Larkins are well known family in the LDS community for mortuaries and plumbing. [cut] We built some great projects in town. We built the Village Apartments, Campus Village Shopping Center, and Gateway Village Apartments in Henderson, kind of pioneering. Bought the corner of Tropicana and Eastern when it was nothing but vacant ground and built the Renaissance Center. That was my first real breakthrough project. That was an office park and the first real contemporary shopping center in town. That was a big success for me. The other stuff was kind of getting started, but that really launched my career here because I had engaged a really terrific architect, a young guy that really got the contemporary world and could combine design and retail together. I loved the design idea. In fact, my interest in real estate development even to this day was planning projects, getting them financed and getting them built without having to manage them and open them up as businesses. I love that part of the business. I ended up building Renaissance West Shopping Center at Flamingo and Decatur, which was kind of a clone of the first one. That's when I moved the Food 4 Less company to Las Vegas. I became the owner of Food 4 Less, the big grocery company, with Larry.