Report: Delays, Changes at World Jewelry Center

The World Jewelry Center is planning to cut the residential portion of the proposed 1.1 million square-foot project in Las Vegas and delay its opening for at least a year, according to a media report.

The project at Union Park in downtown Las Vegas will now likely not be completed until 2012 or later, Bill Boyajian, the WJC managing director, told the Las Vegas Business Press. The 98 planned residential condos will also likely be eliminated and a proposed 50-story tower be reduced by 10 stories.

WJC sales staff and promotional costs have been cut, according to the newspaper. Most of the jewelry mart’s funding to date has come from developer Robert Zarnegin, president and chief executive officer of Probity International. The project, unveiled in October, 2006, was originally planned as a mixed-use development that included a 125,000-square-foot jewelry retail center and a 50-story trade tower with residential condos at its top. The 98 condos would have accounted for 800,000 square of residential space.

Eliminating the residences wouldn’t take away from the mission of drawing jewelry-industry people to Las Vegas, and would save on construction costs, Boyajian told the newspaper.

So far, the project has received at least 150 letters of intent to lease retail space. In May, They were planning to seal the deal

Probity International Corp. would need the city of Las Vegas’ approval to alter its development agreement, the newspaper reports. Boyajian expects cooperation from both the city and Union Park’s residential developer, Newland Communities.

JCK’s coverage of the World Jewelry Center can be found here.