Vantage Lofts files for bankruptcy, owing $72 million


Henderson-based Slade Development filed for bankruptcy protection Friday on Vantage Lofts, a $160 million condominium complex at Gibson Road and Horizon Ridge Parkway.

Construction was halted in February and the sales office was closed after more than $17 million in mechanics' liens were filed by subcontractors who hadn't been paid for their work on the project.

"I've been in this town for 50 years, and we've never had a responsibility to subs that we couldn't meet, so this is new," Slade Development Chairman Stacy Slade said.

Slade said he'd been working with lenders over the past two weeks to come up with a definitive plan to move forward on the project and meet his obligations to subcontractors.

The primary lender is Bar-K/R.E. Loans of Lafayette, Calif., which is owed at least $35 million. Scripps Investments and Loans of La Jolla, Calif., is in second at $32.4 million. Slade listed debts of about $72 million and assets of about $45 million.

The 110-unit first phase of Vantage Lofts was originally scheduled to be completed in early 2007.

The project was delayed by a number of factors, including changes in the secondary lender, a labor shortage and issues with the city of Henderson over design and engineering, Slade said.

More than 20 buyers remain under contract, he said. Prices for the urban-style lofts ranged from $450,000 to $1.6 million, or about $450 a square foot.

"The lack of sales in the market, because of the downturn, it's no surprise, especially in the condo market," Slade said. "It's been a real battle."

About $67.4 million of the company's debts are secured by liens on property valued at about $40 million, according to court papers. Vantage has fewer than 200 creditors and expects to have enough money to pay something to unsecured creditors, according to the bankruptcy petition.

Part of the deal to purchase 20 acres for Vantage Lofts involved funding construction for a new Four Square Church in the Calico Hills area of Henderson, Slade said. That work has also stopped because the company doesn't have the funds to finish the interior of the church, including heating and air conditioning, and the landscaping, he said.

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

 

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