After years of delay, a proposed Henderson master-planned community that fell victim to the recession might finally see shovels in the ground.
The LandWell Co., developer of the proposed 2,200-acre Cadence project between Boulder Highway and Lake Mead Parkway, has sold at least 200 acres to homebuilder Lennar Corp. and is working with Woodside Homes to develop 18 acres.
The deals, which would bring 1,100 new homes to the valley, come during an improved year for the local home construction market with rising sales, prices and development plans. It also marks the first time that Henderson's LandWell — which unveiled plans to develop Cadence, a former industrial-waste dump, almost a decade ago — has sold land there to a homebuilder.
More sales are likely to follow, spokesman Matt Driscoll said.
“Things should start to heat up pretty soon,” he said.
The Lennar purchase is the first piece of a larger transaction for the Miami company, which plans to develop at Cadence an age-restricted, senior community of almost 1,000 homes, Las Vegas Division President Jeremy Parness said.
However, he noted that plans can change and did not confirm a construction start date.
Meanwhile, LandWell also wants Utah-based Woodside to build 119 single-family homes on LandWell-owned property at Cadence, city records show. The Henderson Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the proposal Jan. 16.
Cadence residents would live on a site that for years was a legal dumping ground for manufacturers and government agencies. Waste was poured into unlined evaporation ponds until 1976. At least one company, Titanium Metals Corp., switched to lined ponds and dumped waste there until 2005.
In 1991, manufacturers and LandWell affiliate Basic Management Inc., which owned the Cadence site, launched efforts to clean the property. Executives have spent more than $60 million on testing and analysis and at least $65 million on restoration work.
About 400 acres of the site contained potentially dangerous amounts of metals, pesticides, asbestos and other contaminants. Work crews began hauling off polluted soil in 2008 to a waste management site 2.5 miles away. By 2010, virtually all of it had been removed, according to Basic Remediation Co., which was formed to oversee the cleanup.
Today, the restoration work “is almost completely finished, with the exception of some small areas on the fringe of the property,” Driscoll said. The areas slated for development have been cleaned, he said.
In 2004, years before the main cleanup began, LandWell announced that it reached a deal to sell the Cadence site to Centex Homes. Centex, however, backed out in 2007.
In 2008, LandWell executives reportedly were in talks to sell 42 acres to Boyd Gaming Corp. for a new casino. The talks apparently fell through, though.
Mark Paris, president and CEO of LandWell, said earlier this year that the real estate crash delayed his development plans.
Cadence is near retail centers, downtown Henderson and freeways, not to mention several manufacturing plants at the sprawling Black Mountain Industrial Center. Companies that operate there include titanium producer Tronox; chlorine and hydrochloric acid maker Olin; and titanium manufacturer Titanium Metals, known as Timet.
On a road leading into the Timet plant, warning signs remind drivers that making titanium is no white-collar job.
“Think safety first, or the next thought may be your last,” the signs say.