Building in new subdivisions halts in Carson City
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
New subdivision work has come to a standstill in Carson City. Not one home has been built in any of the projects approved in the last three years.
The 10 subdivisions the city approved since 2005 make up about 1,150 of the 1,900 empty home lots in the city.
Three out of four of the largest approved subdivisions have received or are looking for one-year extensions to turn in final plans to the city.
City Planning Director Lee Plemel said developers are afraid of paying for infrastructure costs to get their subdivisions started without knowing if they’ll be able sell the properties and cover their costs.
“They’re pretty up front saying it’s because of sales,” Plemel said.
Many subdivision owners have other problems to solve if their projects were ever to be built.
The largest undeveloped subdivision in the city, the 521-home Schulz Ranch, lost its managing partner, Lennar Communities, to foreclosure this summer when it defaulted on a $26 million loan.
Reynen & Bardis is the biggest developer left with Lennar Communities gone, but it had to rely on Bank of the West for the $80,000 it took to clean up an abandoned speedway on site as demanded by the city.
Representatives for Reynen & Bardis told the city this summer that the company simply could not afford the cost.
Bank of the West has said it hasn’t made a decision whether it will foreclose on the section of the subdivision owned by Reynen & Bardis.
The developer defaulted on a $3 million loan from the bank.
Only 12 home construction permits have been issued this year, compared to 42 last year and 111 in 2006.
The average home sale price has fallen more than $20,000 since 2006.
One of the owners of the 94-home Mills Landing subdivision, Landmark Homes and Development Inc. of Reno, lost its contractors license in November. Landmark had been one of the largest home builders in Northern Nevada.
Susan Dorr of Manhard Consulting, a representative for the remaining owners, named “difficulties with the final coordination of the project and the current state of the residential housing market” in a letter asking for a one-year extension from the city to turn in final plans for the subdivision.
The reason for the slowdown in subdivision building in Carson City is simple, said Dwight Millard, one of the owners of the delayed 201-home Summerhawk development.
“There’s no buyers,” he said. “Nobody’s buying.”
The reluctance of banks to lend and the huge amount of homes already in the market makes the problem worse, he said.
Millard, one of the biggest property owners in the city, said he doesn’t expect work to pick up again for at least another year and likely longer than that.
– Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.