Transcontinental Corp. began developing the 3,592-acre Lake Las Vegas site near Henderson in 1990 and was building upscale houses, condominiums and townhouses along the slopes of the man-made lake. Besides homes, the project also includes three luxury resorts, the MonteLago Casino and an Italian-themed village.
The soft real estate market in Southern Nevada ultimately forced last fall the ambitious developer to default on a large loan. The site has about 400 acres of raw land left and when homebuilders scheduled to develop the land missed the required option payments, the default became imminent. The demand for new housing at that juncture wasn't there any more and the builders decided to forgo the opportunity.
The Atalon Group is the new owner of the project, being nationally known for turning around financially weakened enterprises. It purchased the assets of Lake Las Vegas for an unannounced sum of money. The transaction includes a part ownership in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, three golf courses, some businesses on the Strip and most significantly the around 400 acres of undeveloped land.
Although undisclosed, the acquisition price was likely low and rather advantageous to Atalon in the long term. It can likely afford to wait for a while until the real estate and mortgage markets settle down and then either proceed to finish developing the project under its own umbrella or sell all of it, or just some parts. Right now Lake Las Vegas as a location is still somewhat distant from the Strip, but as the city grows, it'll draw closer and becomes a more valuable destination for chic living.