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HENDERSON, NV-A consortium of homebuilding companies submitted the winning bid for 1,940 acres here auctioned by the Bureau of Land Management at Sam’s Town Hotel in Las Vegas. Led by Focus Property Group of Las Vegas, the consortium bid $557 million, beating out rival Del Webb. The land is located southwest of Anthem Parkway and east of I-15. Heretofore appraised at $250 million, which is where the bidding started, the property failed to draw a bid during the auction in November of last year. Focus Property Group CEO John Ritter was not immediately available for comment Thursday morning. In a prepared statement, Focus says the consortium plans to develop a master planned community on the land, with each of the homebuilding companies building their own subdivisions. The consortium includes KB Home, Toll Brothers Homes, Woodside Homes, Pardee Homes, Beazer Homes, Kimball Hill Homes and Meritage Homes. Focus estimates that the builders will be ready to open their first model homes in the fourth quarter of 2006.The Henderson land will mark the Focus Group’s sixth master planned community in the valley. Its vertical construction activity includes multiple retail centers, an office complex housing the company’s headquarters, and a multi-family community. Over the past two years, Focus Property Group has been the successful bidder for two other Vegas-area tracts auctions by the BLM. In 2003, it acquired 485 acres northwest of the city and in 2002 acquired 992.5 acres in the southwest valley. Combined with other ownerships, those properties are currently under development to create the 3,000-acre Mountain’s Edge and the 1,200-acre Providence master planned communities.The Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, signed into law 1998, allows the BLM to sell public land within a specific boundary around Las Vegas. Revenue derived from land sales is divided between the State of Nevada General Education Fund (5%), the Southern Nevada Water Authority (10%), and a special account available to the Secretary of the Interior for acquiring environmentally sensitive land in the State of Nevada and for funding capital improvements at state, national and local recreation areas.

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