Lawsuit over failed Spanish View Towers condo project resolved


A lawsuit brought to trial by buyers at the failed Spanish View Towers condominium project was resolved Thursday with a confidential settlement, an attorney for the plaintiffs said.

Attorneys advised Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez that both parties in the case had reached a mutual agreement, said Brian Hardy of law firm Marquis & Aurbach.

Buyers were seeking the return of $3.5 million in nonrefundable deposits for luxury condos at Spanish View Towers, an $800 million project that started construction in 2005 at the Las Vegas Beltway and Buffalo Drive.

Their money normally would have been placed in escrow until closing date, but a clause in the sales contract allowed the developer to "pledge" the money toward starting construction until permanent financing for the project could be secured.

Financing never came through and construction was halted in 2006 after contractors filed $30 million in mechanics' liens against developer Tower Homes for unpaid work and materials.

Prudential Americana brokers Jeannine Cutter and David Berg, defendants in the case along with developer Rod Yanke, testified earlier this week that they had signed statements on Prudential letterhead indicating that 94 of the 405 units at Spanish View were "sold," or removed from the list of available units.

However, in depositions taken in 2009, they said only 40 units were sold. That number was important because lenders require a certain percentage of "hard" sales -- those with nonrefundable escrow deposits -- to begin construction.

The 94 sales included about 50 bulk sales to entities such as Orion Star, a trust owned by Cutter, and to a company owned by the developer's son.

Berg testified that he signed documents before researching and verifying the numbers, even though he was under penalty of perjury to certify and verify what he was signing.

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at hsmith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0491.

 

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