Innovative Multi-Family Housing Driving Revitalization Effort In Las Vegas

Innovative Multi-Family Housing Driving Revitalization Effort In Las Vegas

Down the road from the bright lights of downtown Las Vegas is an area with aging buildings, homeless individuals roaming the streets and heightened violence and crime.  This area, referenced as Las Vegas’ Westside, often has become forgotten due to it’s low income economic status.  Quality of housing is mixed, some houses are kept, others with the look of abandonment and some just need a little TLC.  And many houses and lots are vacant with overgrown weeds.  Developer Frank Hawkins of Community Development Programs Center of Nevada (CDPCN) saw an opportunity to help the very community that he grew up in.

The Las Vegas Westside community may still have a ways to go, but today there is a new and promising building standing in the middle of the neighborhood, Sarann Knight Apartment Complex.   Where does the name come from?  Sarann Knight Preddy became the first African-American person to receive a Nevada gaming license. From owning the Tonga Club to dealing cards in Jerry’s Nugget to leading a range of community service projects, Preddy has been a pioneer in opening up opportunities for all Las Vegas residents. Today, CDPCN’s Sarann Knight Apartment complex stands in her name to provide energy-efficient, affordable housing for residents of Las Vegas’ Westside neighborhood.

During the Sarann Knight planning stages, Frank Hawkins wanted to involve the community for inspiration and immediately discovered this would be the anchor for revitalization of the community; therefore, building goals became timeless and distinctive architecture, an energy efficient and strong structure, and safe accommodations for children and families.

We last wrote about CDPCN during the first phase of Sarann Knight:  Bringing Multifamily Housing Quality and Affordability….yet Energy Efficiency!  The first phase included a four-story building with 82 units.  By using Premier SIPS and other energy efficient measures, CDPCN was able to save about 60% on their heating and cooling costs, a very important measure given CDPCN pays for the utility bills themselves.  ENERGY STAR did not require a blower door test because they used SIPS; therefore, Sarann Knight project automatically surpassed the ENERGY STAR certification.  Coupled with construction savings time (four floors installed in 80 days) SIPS were able to help reduce the building and operating costs in order to keep the Sarann Knight units affordable.

Since then, Sarann Knight has seen the completion of phase 2, seven single story buildings on I-Street and currently in development phase 3 which includes a three-story building with 39 units on H-Street (click here to see construction photos for Phase 3).  Both phases targeted at senior living.  The latest building includes 36,632 sq. ft. of 6″ SIP wall panels, installation is over 85% complete.  Another way SIPs help speed construction is that they come to the jobsite with pre-cut window and door openings, which saves on framing time, and depending on the dimensions, may not require installation of separate headers. They also have pre-cut electrical chases that eliminate the labor needed to drill through studs for wiring.

CDPCN is a nonprofit corporation that seeks to promote community and economic development and affordable housing in the state and has developed more than 1,400 affordable single and multi-family housing units in Southern Nevada since 1997.


Win-Win Solutions, written by our Regional Sales Manager on Sarann Knight Apartments (Environmental Design + Construction Magazine, 2010)


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