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LAS VEGAS-A group of companies involved in the development of the largest master-planned development in North Las Vegas are suing “America’s Builder” DR Horton for breach of contract. Filed late last week in Clark County District Court, the suit alleges that DR Horton subsidiary DRHI failed to meet its obligation to fund 20% of infrastructure costs for the 2,675-acre Park Highlands development and is more than $4 million in arrears.

The plaintiffs are November 2005 Land Investors LLC, a Nevada company that includes Olympia NLV Associates LLC and entities representing local homebuilders American West Homes and Astoria Homes, as well as a division of the national builder Standard Pacific Homes, together with project manager Summerset Development Services, LLC. The plaintiffs paid the Bureau of Land Management $639 million for the land in November 2005.

All parties but DRHI are current on their obligations to fund the development, according to the lawsuit. DR Horton has not yet been served with the lawsuit, according to court records, and did not respond same-day to a request for comment. The plaintiffs’ attorney, Mark E. Ferrario, also could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

Olympia NLV Associates and Summerset are affiliates of the developers of the Southern Highlands master-planned community in the southern Las Vegas Valley. Located just off the North 215 Beltway between Decatur Boulevard and Losee Road, the Park Highlands development in North Las Vegas is slated to include 15,750 home sites in 28 neighborhoods, 230 acres of commercial and 425-acres of parks and recreational areas, as well as, a police station, fire station and post office, five elementary schools, a middle school and a public library.

The lawsuit contends that on or about March 1, 2006, the plaintiffs’ and DRHI entered into a co-buyer acquisition agreement whereby DRHI acquired title to specific portions of the property, and also into an infrastructure funding agreement. Pursuant to that latter agreement, the plaintiffs’ and DRHI agreed to share the “backbone infrastructure costs” as provided for in the development budget included in the development agreement.

The agreement allegedly calls for November 2005 Land Investors to fund 80% of the backbone infrastructure costs and for DRHI to fund the remaining 20% via regular monthly cash calls. The lawsuit contends that DRHI has refused to sign four agreements related to the funding agreement, has made none of the monthly $1.03-million cash calls since the start of the year and is now more than $4 million in arrears, not including interest.

Construction of Park highlands infrastructure began in January 2007 and is slated for completion in 2009. The plaintiffs say the Park Highlands development is moving forward in spite of the lawsuit.

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