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World Market Center - Las Vegas - To Expand By 60 Percent

Furniture World News


World Market Center announced plans for an expanded campus comprising 12 million square feet of permanent and temporary showrooms, dedicated to all segments of the home furnishings and hospitality contract industries. The original plans consisted of 7.5 million square feet of showrooms. The new development plans call for the buildings to be constructed in eight phases on a sprawling 57-acre campus in the heart of Las Vegas, with a completion date of 2015. Phase One of the campus is fully leased and nearing completion, being delivered to tenants in May followed by the first Las Vegas Market SM to be held July 25-29, 2005. “Our growth plans are a result of buyers’ and exhibitors’ avalanche of support for the Las Vegas MarketSM. The industry strongly believes in our long term vision of a world-class market in the world-class city of Las Vegas, bringing together all facets of the home furnishings industry,” said Co-managing Partner Jack Kashani. “We continue to be approached by multiple segments of the industry and are continuing our efforts to address the needs and wants of the industry. Based on extensive input from the industry, we are certain a diversified mix of products located within a convenient, integrated campus represents the way of the future.” According to project officials, World Market CenterSM is aiming to have a much broader cross-section of categories on one campus than any other market in the U.S. The strategy is focused on expanding and growing existing sectors that are already committed to Phase One as well as adding new segments not currently in Phase One. In particular, officials continue to see considerable opportunities with furniture, home accessories, lighting, rugs, bedding, and the textile categories. In addition, the inclusion of Interior Lifestyle USA show as part of the July Las Vegas MarketSM will give rise to interest by new segments. Interior Lifestyle USA will feature exhibitors from the internationally acclaimed Heimtextil and Ambiente shows, produced by Messe Frankfurt. World Market CenterSM officials will also pursue appropriate international companies to join the mix of permanent showrooms in Las Vegas. “As we have said from the early stages, we believe our efforts are expanding the pie for the home furnishings industry by creating a truly global marketplace that connects buyers and sellers from around the world. Our goal is to be the most diversified and most internationally oriented market in the U.S.,” said Co-managing Partner Shawn Samson. “Certain other markets may continue to have greater depth of products in specific segments; however, we believe our diversified multisegmented approach is a more appealing and a more sustainable long-term platform for the overwhelming majority of buyers.” “Our research shows that retailers will continue to become more diversified in their product mix and want a multi-faceted, yet efficient, buying experience. World Market Center SM will present a convenient, dynamic, one-stop-shopping destination where they can access the largest range of products in one campus from domestic and global exhibitors,” said Samson. “For exhibitors, our diversification strategy presents exposure to new market segments and buyers, and the opportunity to grow their business. Furthermore, Las Vegas is the world’s most popular destination for both leisure and business throughout the year. As a result, our business model allows exhibitors the ability to utilize their showrooms any time of year maximizing return on their investment.” Beginning with the nearly completed Phase One, the new master-plan includes eight total buildings with an average square footage of 1.5 million per building, as well as on-site parking. Officials are currently leasing Phases Two and Three, which total 3 million square feet. The fourth and fifth phases total 3.2 million square feet, and the final three buildings are 1.5 million square feet each. All eight buildings are connected to each other through sky bridges at every level so that a visitor can go through all buildings in the complex without ever exiting any of the buildings. The expanded design, by the internationally renowned project architect Jon Jerde, makes extensive use of iconic elements to create what Jerde refers to as “experiential design.” In a free flowing set of sculptured buildings, Jerde uses a collage of basic geometric shapes to create a dramatic design and engage in his art of ‘place making.” Adding to the architectural drama is the convergence of different geometric blocks in the exterior of the same building. Some iconic features soar over 300 feet into the desert sky, beaconing the colossal scale of this landmark complex. Jerde has also been retained to create a unique central plaza in the complex, reminiscent of European piazzas surrounded by towering buildings. “Our project is designed to be internationally recognizable as a landmark for the city of Las Vegas and as a world class market for the home furnishings industry,” said Kashani. The master-plan is being developed by Kashani and Samson, in conjunction with their partner The Related Companies, L.P. The group has also been selected by the City of Las Vegas to develop the 61 acre parcel across the street from World Market CenterSM which is being designed to become one the nation’s premier mixed-use urban centers. As a result, mixed-use elements such as hotels and restaurants that were originally slated for the furniture mart site are now planned across the street. This recent development has opened up a significant amount of land on the existing 57 acre World Market CenterSM campus in order to accommodate the growing demand of the home furnishings industry by adding additional buildings. The first Las Vegas Market will be held July 25-29, 2005. Buyer can register by calling 888-WMC-SHOW (888-962-7469) or visit www.LasVegasMarket.com. World Market Center SM recently announced dates for its second Market which is January 30 – February 3, 2006.