LIMA — A housing market analysis completed for the Greater Lima Region Inc. suggests demand exists for an additional 400-500 apartment units and 120-150 single-family homes in Allen County within the next three years.
The report, completed by third-party consultants with DiSalvo Development Advisors, found demand for rental housing is driven by a low occupancy rate — 1.3% — and a decline in homeownership since 2010.
“The demand is there, we just don’t have the supply in terms of apartments,” said Jeff Sprague, president and CEO of the Greater Lima Region, Inc.
Sprague said GLR will take the results of the analysis to meet with prospective developers and investors that may build new homes or apartments in Allen County.
Nearly 22,000 employees working in the Lima area, which includes the city and surrounding townships, commuted from outside the area, according to U.S. Census data from 2015. The report highlighted those commuters, a majority of whom are commuting from the surrounding counties, as “a potential source for new housing.”
The report breaks down three areas for potential for rental development in Lima: the downtown area, the area along North Cable and Allentown Road and the area around the I-75 interchange.
One suggestion the study authors offer is redeveloping retail centers with high vacancy rates into mixed-used developments that could sustain rental housing, like the Clock Tower and Westgate Shopping Center on North Cable and Allentown or the Lima Mall on Elida Road.
For single-family homes, the authors suggest the bulk of units be priced between $125,000-$200,000 as those rates are accessible to first-time homebuyers. The authors expect most of these homes, if constructed, will be built in the townships “due to the lack of available land and high concentrations of low-valued housing.”
But within city limits, the authors found support for new single-family housing in the West Market/West North Street corridors near Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center.
“More people are working, the wage rates are escalating in the region, which is really bringing more opportunities for people to upgrade their homes and then entry-level homes to be built to answer those entry-level job demands,” Sprague said.
A full copy of the report is available on LimaOhio.com.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.