Homebuilder sells Denver-based company for $100 million

Las Vegas homebuilder Larry Canarelli has completed the sale of his ownership of Denver-based Oakwood Homes for $100 million, he said Wednesday.

The buyer is a partnership headed by Charlotte, N.C.-based Mountain Real Estate Capital and Pat Hamill, president of Oakwood Homes.

Oakwood, which has built more than 10,000 homes in Denver, will keep its brand name, and Hamill will continue as president and general partner. The sale value will increase upon completion of future lot and land purchase options.

Canarelli, chief executive officer of Las Vegas-based American West Homebuilding Group, has owned controlling interest in Oakwood since it was founded in 1991. He will continue to be involved in residential development in Denver through his investment subsidiaries.

Canarelli said the sale provides American West with an opportunity to reallocate its assets. The company’s strategy is to make additional investments in Las Vegas real estate, he said.

“Fortunately, we do have a lot of cash as an umbrella organization, but we were thrilled to sell the Oakwood enterprise,” he said . “The Oakwood sale was a real cash infusion for us, but Las Vegas is where you should have your assets.”

American West owns large blocks of land in the southwest valley, and Canarelli said he wouldn’t consider selling any of the land at almost any price.

“The margins in housing in Las Vegas are as good as any in the country, and prices have really only just begun to climb,” he said.

Canarelli said he has invested $10 million to ensure the long-term success of American West Development, the contracting arm of the homebuilding company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy one year ago.

Mountain Real Estate Capital has affiliations with private builders in Florida, California, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

American West has recorded 129 net sales in the first two months of this year, second to D.R. Horton, Home Builders Research reported.

The New York investment banking firm Moelis and Co. served as financial adviser for the Oakwood transaction. It was the largest sales value for a homebuilder since 2005.

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at or 702-383-0491.

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