Engineering Business – The Future of Residential Development in Las Vegas

Engineering Business – The Future of Residential Development in Las Vegas

Over the past several months there has been a noticeable trend by the local Home Builders in the Las Vegas area. Although not even near the level of development activity in 2007, several Home Builders are cautiously processing new residential developments through the cities and county Development Services offices. This is good news. Since the beginning of 2008, new residential projects have nearly ceased to exist in the area.

Engineering firms hired to process these designs begin with their first exposure to the government’s scrutiny of the design by submitting a Tentative Map. By the time the Tentative Map is heard by the Planning Commission, the engineering firm has already been working on the project for about 3 months. In most cases the Tentative Map is ultimately approved or not at the Planning Commission public meeting. After the Tentative Map has been approved the engineering firm moves on to the Technical Reports and the Off-site Improvement Plans or Development Plans with the goal being that the government entities signing off on the final drawings, and the developer to pull construction permits. The period of time from the Tentative Map approval to pulling permits is about 6 to 9 months. This is why Tentative Maps on the Planning Commission agenda is a good indicator for future development in the area.

With several of the Home Builders processing engineering plans now is a clear indicator that they are planning to cut the ground in late 2011, and continue building through 2012. But again this maybe just in preparation for a possible up tick in housing demand. If there is no increase in demand for new homes next year the developers can shelve the projects for another year or two.

The major Home Builders that appear to be taking the plunge are Richmond American Homes, The Howard Hughes Corporation, Lennar Communities Nevada, KB Homes, and William Lyons Homes. These developers have submitted projects at Clark County, City of Las Vegas, and City of North Las Vegas Development Services Offices. Other Home Builders which are also making a move are Pardee Homes, Ryland Homes, DR Horton, and Harmony Homes.

For the first six months of the year only seven residential development Tentative Maps were submitted with a total of 730 residential lots and 178 condominium units. There has only been one Condominium project submitted to any agency in the Las Vegas valley this year.

For the months of July, August, and September, ten Tentative Maps for residential developments have been on the North Las Vegas, City of Las Vegas, City of Henderson, and Clark County Planning Commissions agendas combined. The total number of new residential lots represented by these maps is 1,653. Most of the lots are located in the Mountain’s Edge Master Planned Community, Summerlin Master Planned Community and on the north side of the Las Vegas valley.

* Richmond American Homes is processing the Monterey Ranch plan which includes 543 cluster home lots within the Mountain Edge Master Planned Community development.

* The Howard Hughes Corporation is also processing two projects; 34 lots and 267 lots, which are located on the west side of the Las Vegas valley within the Summerlin Master Plan Community.

* Lennar Communities Nevada is also process plans for Jasmine at Mountain Edge. The project will consist of 238 compact residential lots.

* KB Homes has submitted plans for 52 Single Family residential lots in Cliff Edge and another 111 residential lots in the City of Henderson.

* William Lyons Homes has submitted plans for 2 projects. These projects include 24 residential lots at Rhapsody South in North Las Vegas, and 90 single family residential lots at Serenity Brook Estates, II in Clark County.

* Pardee Homes of Nevada has submitted plans for a 106 single family residential development in Providence, a community in the City of Las Vegas.

* Ryland Homes has submitted plans for a 99 residential lots in the City of Henderson.

We asked a representative of one of the Home Builders why they are submitting plans now? According to him they marketing research indicates that there will be demand for new home next year, and in order to meet that demand they need to start processing plans the now.

Does this mean that the construction companies and engineering design firms are about to be see a rebound. Not necessarily. But it does mean that the demand for engineering may have reached a turning point. If the national Home Builders are willing to make the investment in Las Vegas now, then other smaller developers may also want to test the waters. If the home buyers demand are as they anticipate next year, then there will be a demand for engineers.

In this article we have discussed that the residential development in the Las Vegas valley may be seeing some glimmer of hope for 2011. The national Home Builders have significantly begun to process numerous new developments through the local Planning Commissions. Although they maybe doing this in case of an increase in demand, but this sudden spike do indicate that they in fact expect the new home buying trend to increase in 2011.