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Texas homebuilder pushes ahead with Las Vegas project plans

A Texas homebuilding giant has pushed ahead with plans to acquire more than 15 acres in the southwest Las Vegas Valley from a so-called land banker.

Developer D.R. Horton executed its option ahead of schedule to acquire 175 homesites from land investment firm Walton. It plans to build townhomes and single-family houses at the site off Buffalo Drive just north of Blue Diamond Road, according to a news release.

Terms were not disclosed.

Home sales in D.R.’s two communities there, The Cottages and The Trails, are expected to start next summer, the announcement said.

Land bankers typically buy vacant tracts and then sell them to builders that prefer not to hold the plots longer than necessary. Walton boasts a portfolio of more than 98,000 acres in the United States and Canada, and its deal with D.R. marked the land banker’s first such deal in Southern Nevada.

Tim Colbert, city manager for D.R.’s Las Vegas division, said in the release that the homebuilder anticipates “more opportunities to work with (Walton) in Las Vegas.”

Walton typically holds land for a developer until that firm is ready to start construction, Ed Hadley, executive vice president of builder land acquisition, told the Review-Journal this spring.

He described it as a risk-mitigation tool, as the builder doesn’t sit on land it can’t use right away or purchase property it might ultimately decide not to develop.

According to Hadley, builders put down a deposit with Walton to purchase a project site and then can pay off the firm in pieces with each closed home sale.

Walton announced the 17-acre southwest valley land acquisition in May, saying at the time, without naming D.R. Horton, that the parcel would be developed by “a top national homebuilder.”

D.R. plans to build 99 townhomes in The Trails and 76 detached houses in The Cottages, according to a news release late last month.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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