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Another apartment project coming to desert south of Strip

An Arizona apartment developer has acquired a desert tract several miles south of the Strip as more housing gets penciled for the area.

The Wolff Co. purchased a 13-acre plot on Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Neal Avenue, near the M Resort, for $10.4 million, property records show. The sale closed late last month.

Wolff expects to break ground on the 316-unit complex this fall and aims to open by December 2022, Executive Vice President of Development Nate Carlson told the Review-Journal on Tuesday.

Wolff is no stranger to Southern Nevada, having built several apartment projects in the valley. It also wasn’t the first developer to draw up plans for a rental complex at the Las Vegas Boulevard parcel, situated on a quiet stretch of the famed casino corridor that is now seeing some housing projects come out of the ground.

Carlson said that while the project site is near plenty of open land, it’s also close to “some really good stuff,” including the Southern Highlands community and the fast-growing west Henderson area, home of the Raiders’ practice facility, distribution centers for companies such as Amazon, new housing tracts and the site of a planned hospital.

All told, Wolff officials like the “energy” and “pace of development” in the area, Carlson said, adding the firm is also buying a roughly 10-acre site off St. Rose near the M, where it plans to build a 238-unit apartment complex.

Southern Nevada’s rental market, like many other industries, faced plenty of turmoil and questions after the pandemic hit, as huge job losses in the casino-heavy region left many people tapping unemployment benefits, stimulus funds or other relief programs to pay their rent.

Las Vegas’ jobless rate is still one of the highest in the nation among large metro areas but has shrunk considerably the early chaos of the outbreak. Moreover, the valley could face an eviction crisis after the federal moratorium ends July 31, but people have still been moving to Southern Nevada during the pandemic, and the rental market has seen prices climb and vacancies tighten.

Las Vegas apartment developer The Calida Group previously drew up plans for a rental complex on what’s now Wolff’s property, county records show. In an email to the Review-Journal on Tuesday, Calida co-founder Eric Cohen indicated that his company was under contract to buy the site when the pandemic hit.

After the valley’s unemployment rate shot past 30 percent — following the state-ordered closure of casinos and other businesses to help contain the virus’ spread — Calida envisioned a worst-case scenario and wanted to focus on projects that were “further along in the process,” he wrote.

“Looking back we should have kept the site,” Cohen wrote, adding Wolff “will do a great job with it.”

Several miles south of the casino-packed Strip, Las Vegas Boulevard is lined with sprawling tracts of land off the west side of the street, though developers are putting up a few projects there.

Touchstone Living is developing Mosaic, a 797-unit townhouse project off Las Vegas Boulevard at St. Rose Parkway, and Silicon Valley-based WTI Inc. is developing Ariva, a 754-unit apartment complex off the west side of the boulevard just north of Starr Avenue.

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

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