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Published December 03, 2012, 08:50 PM

Apartment complex numbers to continue growing

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - If you feel like you're seeing an unusual amount of apartment buildings popping up in Fargo -- you are -- numbers this year are well above of normal.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - If you feel like you're seeing an unusual amount of apartment buildings popping up in Fargo -- you are -- numbers this year are well above of normal.

Demand is so high right now, developers are flip flopping commercial plots to put up apartments.

It's pretty easy for a builder to know if a new apartment will fill. There are quarterly stats released on vacancy rates and right now it's crazy low.

Go downtown Fargo, up by campus or down in the south end of town -- you will see apartments going up.

Jim Gilmour, Fargo City Planner: "They're taking commercial land and changing zoning to apartments because commercial land there's not as much demand."

Developers tell the city they're planning for more room for apartments because that's the first thing that will sell.

City planner Jim Gilmour broke down the numbers for us.

The city approved 23 new apartment buildings this year, it's a total of 734 new individual units.

Gilmour: "It's not unusual for us to have 500 apartments. People who build apartments are looking for more and more sites."

Gilmour says the reason for the spike is the vacancy rate. It's at 2.3% right now.

Compare that to the last 4 years:

In 2011 4.7%,

2010 5.8%

2009 5.1%

2008 5.3%

And that's why the city has seen growth go from steady to booming.

Gilmour: "If the vacancy rate gets above 6% we don't see many apartments being built when it gets below 5% building continues and below 4 % it really picks up."

Gilmour says it looks like the spike will go into next year.

The reason, there are more people in their 20s in Fargo than projected. Gilmour says it could be more students sticking around or younger people moving here for work.

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