Redeveloping downtown to meet demand: Realtors say demand outweighs supply

LAS VEGAS - Experts in real estate describe the downtown Las Vegas housing market in these words: The demand is high, and the inventory is low.

On Thursday night, Mayor Carolyn Goodman said the neighborhood needs 5,500 new homes to meet demand.

The Fremont 9 is a major new housing complex that is expected to open later this year.  The complex will add several hundred homes to a part of the city that's waited a long time for more housing.

But realtors say the demand still outweighs the supply.

"If you see residential, the price on it is sky high," said Robin Camacho, a broker. "Everybody knows, this is 3rd St.  This is going to blow up." 

Camacho says it's the land that's worth so much, which is a sign of the demand.

"Downtown is hot right now.  It's the heartbeat of Las Vegas.  Everybody wants to be downtown," Camacho said.

But does the hype match what's really happening?

Work on the large Fremont 9 Apartments is almost done, but other vacant hotels nearby remain relatively untouched, years after being bought by downtown developers.

"I feel like right now, there's a surge of socially-based businesses," said Ashley Ayala, downtown business owner.

Ayala's Sisterhouse Collective is starting its 4th year on Fremont East.

"By having this brick and mortar, we've shown Downtown and Las Vegas what we're capable of doing," Ayala said.

But, the lack of homes is a major reason the business isn't sustainable.  Ayala says she's closing her business at the end of the month.

"I wish we could stay," Ayala said.

Mayor Goodman says 5,500 more units are needed to meet demand downtown.  There's no doubt people want homes built, so it's just a matter of being able to make it happen.

"The price; getting in it's not inexpensive to buy property downtown," Camacho said.

A quick check of the downtown market shows just three single-family homes are available right now.

There are just 48 high-rise units for sale.
 


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