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Las Vegas Looks To Score Affordable Housing With Golf Course Conversion

Amid Rising Rents, Council Approves Plans Calling for 1,800 Apartments on 100 City-Owned Acres

Las Vegas officials will be seeking developer proposals to put apartments and other affordable housing on the site of what is now the city-owned Desert Pines Golf Club.

Officials in Las Vegas are looking to replace a city-owned golf course with a multifamily project that includes 1,800 apartments, as government leaders seek to boost affordable housing amid rising prices in the gambling capital.

The Las Vegas City Council on March 16 approved concept plans by the city’s Community Development Department that would put more than 2,100 housing units on the city-owned Desert Pines Golf Club at 3415 E. Bonanza Road, which is still operating.

Officials said the location is in a predominantly Latino neighborhood in eastern Las Vegas where residents were struggling with rising housing costs well before the pandemic.

“This is a very, very important area that local electeds can move the needle on if we’re in tune with what our community is really needing,” Las Vegas Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, who represents the area where the housing would be built, said during the council meeting.

Officials said the city would within the next few months be seeking proposals from private developers to carry out the concept plans for the 100-acre site. They include 1,800 apartments, including affordable and market-rate units, 80 single-family and duplex units, 79 townhouse-style units and 224 units geared to seniors.

Plans also call for commercial space and educational facilities, including a workforce training center to be operated by College of Southern Nevada. About 10% of the site would have open space, including a central park with a soccer field and other recreational components, according to the Community Development Department.

Nevada as of March 2021 had a shortage of nearly 80,000 apartments relative to demand among low-income renters, particularly those earning 30% or less of the median income, according to the Southern Nevada Home

Builders Association. In Las Vegas, there were just 14 units available for every 100 units needed by those renters as of 2019, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition advocacy group.

Nevada is among several Western states dealing with a steady influx of new residents escaping even higher housing costs in coastal cities including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

Las Vegas’ tourism economy has been rebounding during the past year as tourists returned after early pandemic hotel and casino closings. Real estate demand has also bounced back, with apartment rents rising 21.2% during the past 12 months

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