California Apartment Manager Sets Up Shop in Vegas

Sunrise Management, a San Diego-based residential real estate management specialist, has opened a new Las Vegas division and tapped multifamily expert Kathy Relyea to oversee it.

Las Vegas—Sunrise Management, a San Diego-based residential real estate management specialist, has opened a new Las Vegas division and tapped multifamily expert Kathy Relyea to oversee it. According to the company, the time is right to enter the market, since it expects the local apartment market to rebound further in the coming years.

Investment specialist Marcus & Millichap (which is not associated with Sunrise) predicts that Las Vegas apartment vacancies will dip below pre-recession levels after a strong performance in the first half of 2013, allowing effective rents to rise at the fastest pace since 2006. The market’s vacancy rate dropped from 7.5 percent to 6.5 percent between the end of 2011 and the end of 2012.

The improving health of Vegas’ apartment market is being driven by the improving health of the area’s main livelihood, namely catering to visitors. The Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority reports that a record 39.7 million visitors came to the city in 2012, up 2.1 percent compared with 2011, and about a half-million more visitors than the previous high of 39.2 million set in 2007. Also, Clark County gross gaming revenue reached $9.4 billion in 2012, a 1.9 percent increase over the previous year. The recovery of the local economy should mean more hiring in 2013, creating further demand for apartments.

A 27-year veteran of the industry, Relyea was most recently regional director of operations for Mutual Assets Real Estate. In her new role as regional property manager, Relyea will oversee four employees, concentrating on increasing the firm’s Las Vegas market share, besides directing long-term marketing and day-to-day activities.

Sunrise recently took on its first Vegas project, Boulder Palms Senior Apartments. Built in1997, the 183-unit property is on about four acres and features a clubhouse, swimming pool and workout facility. Relyea is tasked with optimizing the property’s value and spearheading capital improvements.