Owner of Newhall Ranch defaults on $1.1-billion loan

Times Staff Writer

LandSource Communities Development, the land development company that owns Newhall Land & Farming Co., has defaulted on a $1.1-billion loan but is working with lenders to restructure the terms, a company spokeswoman said Friday.

LandSource declined to disclose the amount of default, but a bankruptcy filing could put building plans for the massive 21,000-home Newhall Ranch community near Santa Clarita in jeopardy.

"LandSource is still in discussion with the lenders on trying to find a way that they mutually can agree on how to restructure the loan," said Tamara Taylor, a spokeswoman for LandSource.

The company received a notice of default April 22 after missing payment on a loan it received as part of a $1.55-billion refinancing in March 2007 led by Barclays Capital Inc. and syndicated with about 100 lenders.

LandSource is a joint venture of Lennar Corp., LNR Property Corp. and MW Housing Partners.

Marlee Lauffer, a spokeswoman for Newhall Land, declined to speculate on how the default would affect Newhall Ranch and said development plans were still on schedule.

"While LandSource continues to have their discussions with their lenders, we're continuing to focus on our day-to-day activities," she said.



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