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Arizona homes project halted

Las Vegas home builder Jim Rhodes has suspended work on Pravada, a 5,750-acre master-planned community near Kingman, Ariz., because of land use, zoning and water issues, a spokesman for Rhodes Homes said Wednesday.

Rhodes had done some preliminary grading of land in Golden Valley and had built four showcase homes, Bill Marion of public relations firm Purdue Marion & Associates said.

Pravada had more than 1,000 reservations and will continue to take reservations, Marion said. The community would ultimately be built out to 30,000 homes.

“We’re suspending that work until we get approval for vertical construction,” he said. “There are issues relating to zoning, water and land use, so while we’re waiting for those approvals, we are suspending day-to-day operations. It has nothing to do with the market.”

Dennis Smith, president of Home Builders Research in Las Vegas, said he was a little surprised at the decision because Rhodes had almost completed a golf course there.

“I’m sure it has something to do with Arizona’s unwillingness to accommodate his water needs,” Smith said. “I can assure you that growth in Golden Valley was based on Rhodes legitimizing that area. That sets that community back five years, maybe more.”

Smith said zoning and water issues could be part of the reason why Wal-Mart backed out of a deal to build a store outside of Kingman.

The Arizona Department of Water Resources had established water availability for Golden Valley, but there were still issues with the Arizona Corporation Commission for the Perkins Mountain Water and Utility companies to provide water and sewer services, Marion said.

“Rhodes has a number of other projects in Nevada and Arizona, so it’s kind of refocusing our efforts in those projects and once we receive approvals, we’ll go back to vertical construction,” he said.

Mercy Adella of West USA Realty in Kingman said the Rhodes development would be an asset to the community.

“I’m hoping they do continue with the plan, of course,” she said. “Some people are against the growth of the community. At the same time, people here would like to have conveniences of the big city, like malls.”

Smith said the halt is a shame because Rhodes’ Golden Valley homes were going be affordable at about $100 a square foot.

Rhodes, a 20-year developer in Las Vegas, also plans to build in White Hills, Ariz., and continues to develop Rhodes Ranch in southwest Las Vegas Valley and Tuscany in Henderson.

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