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Lenders take ownership of The District at Green Valley Ranch

Updated Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 | 5:21 p.m.

Map of The District at Green Valley Ranch

The District at Green Valley Ranch

2240 Village Walk Drive, Henderson

Lenders owed about $100 million have assumed ownership of The District at Green Valley Ranch mixed-use center in Henderson.

The District was developed by the Greenspun family, owner of the Las Vegas Sun, through its American Nevada Company. The District includes retail, office, entertainment and residential components.

Because of weak sales by key retailers and declining occupancy, income at the property fell during the recession and American Nevada said in late 2009 it had put the loan for the property into strategic default in hopes of negotiating more realistic terms.

Bruce Deifik, president of The Greenspun Corporation, parent of American Nevada, said Monday that American Nevada worked for 16 months to restructure the loan but in the end couldn't come to terms with the lenders, which foreclosed on the property in January.

American Nevada has an agreement to continue managing The District and still holds key land parcels, including 20 acres east of Whole Foods and 15 acres near The District, west of the Green Valley Ranch hotel-casino.

With its management contract and land holdings there, American Nevada remains hopeful about continued development of The District and potentially re-acquiring a stake in the project, Deifik said.

"We're moving forward. We do hope to come back as owners," Deifik said.

The company acquiring The District on behalf of lenders is LNR Partners LLC of Miami Beach, Fla. So far, it has recorded at least two deeds against parts of The District for $76 million. Its options include trying to sell the property or holding on to it until the real estate market turns around.

The foreclosure auction is the latest in a series of setbacks for the Southern Nevada commercial real estate market during the recession. For instance, the big Town Square retail center also faces foreclosure by lenders owed $449 million while General Growth Properties' Shops at Summerlin Centre mall remains stalled and mothballed.