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Affordable housing complex to be built next to Maya Cinemas

An affordable housing complex is slated to be built next to Maya Cinemas amid a steep shortage of units for low-income Nevadans.

Dallas-based Rise Residential and Southern Nevada real estate firm Camino Verde Group have teamed up to develop Cine Apartments, a 270-unit rental complex at Las Vegas Boulevard North and Hamilton Street, near North Las Vegas City Hall and the Silver Nugget casino.

The developers aim to start construction on the $64 million project in January and open the first batch of units in mid-2023, according to Dallas consultant Bill Fisher, who is arranging the project financing and whose family owns Rise.

Fisher said 80 percent of the units will be available to tenants earning at or below 60 percent of the area’s median family income, and the remaining 20 percent of the units will rent at market-rate prices.

Southern Nevada’s housing market has accelerated over the past year with record sales prices and skyrocketing rents. There’s no telling what the market will look like when Cine opens, but the need for lower-priced housing isn’t new and likely won’t be resolved quickly.

With the bulk of its population in the Las Vegas Valley, Nevada has an estimated shortage of 84,320 affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income tenants, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

North Las Vegas Councilman Isaac Barron, whose ward includes the project site, said there is an “acute shortage” of affordable housing in the area, adding Cine would make a “small” but “important dent” in that.

A one-bedroom apartment at Cine is expected to cost as low as $730 in monthly rent, according to Fisher, founder of Sonoma Housing Advisors.

By comparison, the typical rental rate of a Las Vegas-area home in August was $1,718, up nearly 25 percent from a year earlier, listing site Zillow reported. Las Vegas’ annual rent growth was fastest among the 50 metro areas in the report.

Camino Verde Group co-founder Mike Ballard noted that North Las Vegas has seen a surge of industrial development and that Cine could house people who work at those facilities.

“This is for those entry-level warehouse workers, mid-level warehouse workers,” he said.

Cine would occupy a portion of the 32-acre site that Moctesuma Esparza, founder of the Maya Cinemas chain, had acquired in 2017, plans show.

Esparza, a movie producer whose credits include “Gettysburg” and “Selena,” sold more than 10 acres of his holdings for a school in 2018, property records show, and opened the 14-screen theater in 2019.

He confirmed to the Review-Journal this week that he is under contract to sell a roughly 7-acre plot for Cine, as well.

There is “big demand” for housing, Esparza said, adding that he has another 8.5 acres around the theater that is slated for food-and-beverage outlets and “experiential” retail.

North Las Vegas spokesman Patrick Walker said that the overall plan for the Maya site includes the recently completed Civica Career and Collegiate Academy charter school, that the next phase involves Cine Apartments, and that future phases include commercial development, including retail.

Asked if any other projects are in the pipeline, Walker said discussions are “underway with multiple interested parties.”

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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