Sunday, May 23, 2010

Developer faces foreclosure

by Beth Duckett The Arizona Republic May. 22, 2010 12:00 AM

A developer faces foreclosure on a 2,450-acre swath of land east of Fountain Hills where 1,000 luxury homes and a resort were planned.

The Ellman Cos., doing business as Goldfield Preserve Development LLC, defaulted on a $177.1 million loan for the land northeast of Scottsdale.

A trustee sale is set for Aug. 4, a company representative said.

"With regards to the Goldfield Project, we continue to work with our lenders and partners to resolve this issue and to maximize the property's value and marketability," said Don Kile, Ellman's president of master-planned communities.

The project, called the Preserve at Goldfield Ranch, is part of the existing 5,000-acre Goldfield Ranch community flanking Arizona 87 and the Fort McDowell Reservation.

Ellman, based in Phoenix, acquired 2,200 acres for the development in 2006 for $133 million.

The difference in the loan amount includes additional land acquisition and entitlement costs, said Nicole Traynor, director of Ellman's public relations.

In 2007, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved a master-plan amendment for the project despite some concerns about water supply and fire coverage. At the time, Ellman predicted groundbreaking in as little as two years.

On its website, the company said the property is slated for a resort and 1,016 single-family lots ranging from 1 to 8 acres. A Canyon Ranch spa would serve as anchor.

The outcome of the Preserve will not affect the companies' other U.S. real-estate projects, which are independently financed, operated and managed, Kile said.

That includes a 1,350-unit community in Fountain Hills.

The homes are planned on nearly 2 square miles of former state trust land in the northeastern crook of Fountain Hills.

Developer faces foreclosure

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