Arena lenders make payment, keep Henderson stadium plan alive


Artist rendering of the proposed Las Vegas National Sports Complex in Henderson.

Developer Chris Milam’s lenders are keeping his proposed Henderson sports arena project alive — for now.

The lenders, operating under the names Rockafellow Investments LLC and II C.B. LLC, paid the city of Henderson $250,000 Friday as part of a legal settlement. The city had sued Milam for allegedly trying to flip the government-owned project site to other developers.

The lenders planned to finance Milam's purchase of the project site from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The settlement required them to reimburse the city for legal costs by 5 p.m.

They must pay City Hall another $4.25 million by May 13 to close escrow on the land.

The property would have returned to the BLM’s control if the lenders missed the payment.

City Attorney Josh Reid confirmed that officials received the money.

The project site is zoned for stadium or arena development. Reid indicated this week that Henderson officials are open to other commercial development there, but he ruled out single-family housing, which Milam allegedly pursued in violation of his development pact with City Hall.

Milam laid out plans for an indoor arena and three stadiums near the M Resort as part of the Las Vegas National Sports Complex, though no teams committed to the facilities.

The city on Jan. 28 sued Milam, his lawyers John Marchiano and Christopher Stephens, land consultant Michael Ford and public relations-lobbying chief Lee Haney, claiming that rather than follow through with their project plan, efforts were made to sell the land piecemeal to residential and commercial developers for substantial profit.

Stephens paid $750 last month to settle the accusations against him. Milam and Marchiano settled Thursday, although the terms of Marchiano’s deal were not disclosed.

Milam’s terms were announced at a court hearing Tuesday. The settlement also bars Milam from doing future business in Henderson.

Ford and Haney still are trying to reach a settlement, though Ford said Thursday that the city’s terms would prevent him from speaking freely about the case. City officials disputed his claim.

Tags: Business