SunCal Cos. and D.E. Shaw have bought 1,072 home lots in 11 Las Vegas communities for $20 million from the bankruptcy liquidation of Kimball Hill Homes.
“We’re actively pursuing new opportunities in key markets, and this acquisition of the Kimball Hill Homes portfolio in Las Vegas is a very good one,” said Joe Aquirre, a spokesman for SunCal.

D.E. Shaw is SunCal’s financial partner in the acquisition.

Kimball Hill was equally happy with the sale. “This is nearly unheard of in this market, where it’s very difficult to find real buyers who’ll actually follow through with a deal this size,” said Keith Mitchell, national director of community development for Kimball Hill Homes, in a news release. “In the end, we are as happy as we can be with the deal, as it offered maximum value to creditors.”
Michael Stuart, senior vice president for Colliers International’s land division, which brokered the deal for Kimball Hill, said it closed in two months. “It was pretty quick,” he said.
That is about the only thing to happen quickly related to the Kimball Hill bankruptcy, said Stuart, who has worked with the company since January 2008 in the disposition of its Southern Nevada assets.
“They have gone from filing Chapter 11 [to reorganize in bankruptcy] to losing the president [David Hill] to cancer to liquidation. It’s basically been the death of the company too, from 1,600 employees to a handful,” Stuart said. “It’s so sad.”
Of the 1,072 lots SunCal bought, 639 are finished and 433 are tentatively mapped. A few other Kimball Hill assets in Las Vegas remain to be sold. Those lots, as well as land in Chicago, Texas, Florida, and Northern California, were held back from the auction because there are legal claims clouding their titles that have yet to be resolved.
SunCal hasn’t determined when it will sell the Las Vegas lots.
“We’re very pleased to acquire this Las Vegas real estate portfolio and look forward to completing these communities when market conditions allow,” said Brad Shuckhart, SunCal’s vice president of land acquisitions.

 Teresa Burney is a senior editor for BUILDER and BIG BUILDER magazines. 

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Las Vegas, NV.