This article was originally published by the Wichita Business Journal newspaper on August 8, 2018

Downtown Wichita developer says rental market might be under-supplied soon

By Bryan Horwath

Wichita rents are down slightly, according to a national report, but one developer says downtown is a hot market.

A recently-released Apartment List report shows that Wichita rents were down by a modest 0.6 percent in July and down 0.3 percent year-over-year.

List describes the Wichita rental market as “cool with soft demand,” but developer Jason Van Sickle says the downtown market is healthy.

“Things are really strong downtown right now,” Van Sickle says. “I know that the Colorado Derby Lofts and River Vista are leasing up nicely. I hear the same from other downtown apartment owners and managers.”

At Van Sickle’s Flats 324 complex, units are between 90 and 95 percent rented, he says.

“I think part of it is Cargill and what they’re doing and other things, like WSU being downtown,” Van Sickle says. “Downtown is becoming the place to live. I actually think that we might be getting close to being under-supplied again.”

Apartment List is a website that aggregates national apartment listings.

The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Wichita is about $750, the website says. The national average is $1,180.