Las Vegas Jewelry Center approved by The City Council on Wednesday. Real estate developer wants to make Las Vegas a hub for international jewelry companies.
Council members voted unanimously to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with a Probity International Corp. affiliate. The deal would last for up to 18 months.
Robert Zernigan, founder and chief executive officer of Probity International, said he wanted to bring corporate offices of jewelry and gem companies into a 40-story or higher tower to Union Park. The tower would include a large retail space open to the public, as well as secured space where wholesalers could buy directly from manufacturers.
Zernigan said the World Jewelry Center’s retail component would include up to 50 shops, most offering jewelry products. Exhibits would also be scattered throughout the site to educate shoppers on the history of jewelry, how gems are mined and how jewelry-related fashions have evolved over the ages.
Zernigan said the key to his center’s success involves offering the right mix of products to attract some of Las Vegas’ nearly 40 million annual visitors. To that end, he hopes to lure several international jewelers who have yet to open retail stores in the United States.
The jewelry center’s business model is somewhat similar to that of World Market Center Las Vegas, a $2 billion furniture complex that is completing the second of eight planned buildings on its 57-acre downtown site. Because of its early success there have been many articles about World Market Center Las Vegas in bringing strong number to the city for its furniture conventions.
World Market Center Las Vegas hosts biannual furniture showcases that draw manufacturers and dealers from around the world; unlike the proposed jewelry center, World Market Center’s events aren’t open to the public.
Three appraisals done in 2005 put Union Park’s average land price at $48 per square foot. The city would sell the land at $40 per square foot, while picking up as much as $12 per square foot for environmental cleanup of the land.
The Las Vegas commercial real estate development, with 500,000 square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of retail space, would be a $500 million development.
The jewelry center would bring an estimated 2,000 jobs to Las Vegas.
Mayor Oscar Goodman said Wednesday’s approval of Probity International’s agreement fits with leaders’ vision of “a city within a city” at Union Park.
Source: LV Review Journal
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Las Vegas Jewelry Center approved by city council.
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