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LAS VEGAS-Forget gambling. A big part of this city’s future could be as the furniture capital of the world.

Los Angeles-based Furniture Mart Enterprises LLC, headed by Jack Kashani, recently paid about $13 million to Union Pacific for 20 acres of land in railroad yards near Downtown. Kashani hopes to build a $750-million World Market Center on the land. He also has options for more ground.

It’s an idea with a lot of merit, says Perry Muscelli, the Cushman & Wakefield broker from Las Vegas who handled the transaction.

”Las Vegas is the No. 1 convention city in the nation,” Muscelli tells GlobeSt.com. ”Our airport handles people well, there’s plenty of convention space, and it’s a fun and inexpensive place for a convention.”

Currently, the biggest furniture convention is held in High Point, NC, where much of the nation’s furniture once was manufactured, he says. About 100,000 people attend the annual furniture convention in High Point, he adds. It’s hard to get to and they struggle to find a hotel with HBO, he quips.

”Frankly, if (Kashani) pulls this off, it will be a home run,” Muscelli tells GlobeSt.com.

Kashani’s projects say that eventually 1.7 million new visitors would be drawn to his huge facility that ultimately could cover 7.5 million sf on 10 floors. The furniture campus eventually would include three towers, a convention center, a 1.5 million-sf World Trade Fair catering to submarkets of the home furnishings industry and a resort hotel.

The economic impact of it could start at $2.4 million and grow to $300 million in 2010, according to a study by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

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