Friday, March 1, 2013 | 9 p.m.
Las Vegas developer Juliet Cos. is disputing reports that it reached a “deal” with would-be sports arena developer Chris Milam to build residential homes on part of his Henderson project site.
Todd L. Bice, an attorney for Juliet, said in a letter Friday that his client signed a “nonbinding letter of intent” with Milam’s group and “never reached any actual agreement or deal” with them. Media reports that said otherwise, including from the Las Vegas Sun, failed “to address the realities of what a nonbinding letter of intent is and why it exists,” he wrote.
“Juliet entered into no deal with Milam or any of his entities concerning residential development on the site,” Bice wrote. “It signed a typical nonbinding letter for purposes of undertaking due diligence and exploring opportunities.”
Bice addressed the letter to Henderson City Attorney Josh Reid and copied it to Dennis Kennedy, an outside lawyer for City Hall, as well as Milam attorney Terry Coffing and local reporters covering the city’s ongoing fraud case against Milam.
Kennedy’s firm said in a court filing Wednesday that Milam’s group launched discussions with Juliet as early as April 24 last year and signed a deal on Aug. 9 with Juliet principal John Stewart.
The court filing, which described their agreement as a “Basic Deal-Point Letter,” said Juliet allegedly agreed to provide $15 million to help Milam’s group buy the 480-acre project site from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for his proposed Las Vegas National Sports Complex.
They “further agreed” to enter into a joint venture to develop one-third of the project site for residential uses, including single-family homes, with Juliet contributing $7.5 million to the deal, according to the filing.
The court filing also said city officials were “not to be told of these plans until after” Milam closed escrow on the project site, which still has not happened.
Juliet and Milam’s deal-point letter was enclosed in Wednesday’s court filing. The last paragraph of the four-page letter says it “will constitute a basis of our mutual understanding with respect to the contemplated business structure. This letter is not a binding agreement between the parties and neither party shall be bound under this letter until the parties have executed and delivered definitive written agreements. We look forward to discussing this deal in greater detail.”
The document, which includes the phrase “Basic Deal-Point Letter” in the header on pages 2-4, was signed by Stewart and a representative of Milam’s Las Vegas National Sports Center LLC.
Kennedy and Reid did not immediately respond Friday night to a request for comment on Bice’s letter.
Milam laid out plans for an indoor arena and three stadiums in Henderson, though no teams have committed to the facilities. The facilities were expected to cost more than $1 billion combined.
In late January, the city sued Milam and several others working with him on the project. They were accused of using a city-approved development pact to buy the government-owned project site at a cheap price and then sell it “piecemeal” to residential and commercial developers at a “substantial profit.”