Rhodes' bankruptcy deal ready for judge's review

Matter will be heard in Las Vegas court in January

KINGMAN - A final agreement between Rhodes Homes and its creditors will come before a bankruptcy judge in Las Vegas in the first week of January, according to Bill Marion of Purdue Marion and Associates, a public relations firm that represents Rhodes Homes.

Rhodes reached a possible agreement with creditors in September.

That agreement has Rhodes Homes giving up control of the Las Vegas master-planned communities Rhodes Ranch and Tuscany to its creditors. It allows the company to keep control of 1,300 acres of land and four model homes from the Pravada master-planned community in Golden Valley.

In September, Marion said Rhodes Homes still planned to build Pravada but did not know when construction would start.

According to court records, the creditors, led by Credit Suisse, will continue to develop the Nevada properties, using a board of directors to manage the company, in an effort to recover some of their investment.

Rhodes Homes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April in order to protect 32 individual companies owned by Rhodes, the master planned communities in Golden Valley and Las Vegas.

Rhodes Homes used Rhodes Ranch and Tuscany as collateral for a $500 million loan from Credit Suisse, Highland Capital, General Electric Investment Corporation, Cypresstree Investment Management and Sorin Capital Management.

According to the news release, Rhodes Homes used the funds to help expand the company during the boom in housing construction, but because of the downturn in the market, the company was not able to make a March payment and was forced to file for bankruptcy.

Rhodes Homes bought more than 5,000 acres worth of property in Golden Valley and started planning Pravada in the early 2000s. Pravada was supposed to have at least 30,000 homes, shops, services and a golf course.

In 2005, Rhodes applied for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for its Perkins Water and Utility Treatment plants with the Arizona Corporation Commission. The ACC called Jim Rhodes, the owner of the company, to testify before the committee several times over his construction activities in Las Vegas and connections with former Clark County Nevada Commissioner Erin Kenny.

In November 2007, Rhodes sold the two utility companies to Utilities, Inc.

In mid-December 2008, Administrative Law Judge Teena Wolfe recommended the ACC approve Utilities, Inc.'s CC&N request.

The ACC approved the CC&N request on Dec. 22, 2008, with some caveats, including limiting Pravada to a nine-hole golf course until Utilities, Inc. can provide enough treated wastewater from residential sinks and drains to irrigate an 18-hole golf course.