WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WREG) — The city of West Memphis has seen an economic boom over the last few years, but with more jobs and opportunities, the city is finding itself in a unique situation: It is lacking housing for prospective workers.
West Memphis’ mayor, Marco McClendon, says he hopes more real estate will be built in his city. He says the city is an ideal place to live, now there are more opportunities and good-paying jobs, but he says his city lacks housing.
“The economic development that’s going on in the city is sparking the growth (of) over 2,000 new jobs (that) have been created or in the process of being created,” McClendon said. “And people coming here need a place to live.”
The city anticipates that roughly 400 new jobs will be created at the new Carvana site. Additionally, the Southland Casino hotel, which is under construction, will eventually employ hundreds of people.
McClendon says those people will also be looking for housing. He says that is why he is pitching more houses to be built in his city.
“Right now, we’re recruiting developers to come out and take a chance in West Memphis and build houses for all of these individuals who are looking for an opportunity to live here,” McClendon said.
McClendon’s sentiments were echoed by Mike Ford, a broker-owner of Coldwell Banker Heritage Homes. Ford says as the city is expanding, they are having a tough time keeping up with the demand.
“So when you start talking about the job growth and housing that’s taking place in our community, Carvana, Southland, and other great things happening,” Ford said. “We don’t have a way to meet the needs of those executives.”
Ford says if West Memphis could get a housing development started very soon, having the capacity of 150 individual homes, that would be a step in the right direction for the city.