LAS VEGAS-The signing of Nordstrom as the first anchor for Summerlin Centre in Las Vegas will “set a tone” for the entire mixed-use complex, said Robert Michaels, president and COO of General Growth Properties, the developer of the mixed-use complex.

Nordstrom will open a 149,000-sf store, eventually to be joined at least three and possibly four additional anchors. The center will break ground in the next few weeks for a spring 2009 opening. Nordstrom will open in fall 2009.

“Nordstrom is one of the premier department stores in the country,” Michaels told GSR Ticket. “It sets the tone for what Summerlin Centre will be. This will be a very special center.”

The Summerlin unit will be Nordstrom’s second full-line store in Nevada.

“Opening a second store in Las Vegas was an easy decision for us. The city continues to grow, and our store at Fashion Show [on the Las Vegas Strip] has done very well over the last four years. By adding another location, we hope we can more conveniently serve customers who live and work in Las Vegas,” said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores for Nordstrom, in the press release announcing the deal.

Summerlin Centre will combine 1.4 million sf of retail shopping and dining with office space, a hotel and residences. It will be the core of the 22,500 acre Summerlin community. The retail project will be located on 100 acres northeast of the intersection of the 215 Beltway and Sahara Avenue.

The announcement is an indication of the maturity of the market., according to Zack Hussain, a senior associate at the Las Vegas office of brokerage/consultancy CB Richard Ellis. The firm is negotiating with General Growth to locate several retailers at Summerlin Centre.

“Nordstrom coming is a big, big step in the retail economy,” Hussain says. “The maturity is here, the demographics are here. The suburbs are getting self-sufficient, and the people who live here do not want to come to the Strip to shop.”

In fact, he says, his own company is consulting on and leasing four other upcoming retail/mixed-use projects in the city’s suburbs, including City Crossing in Henderson; The Clock Tower at Seven Hills in Henderson; The Clock Tower at Spanish Hills in southwest Las Vegas; and Manhattan West in southwest Las Vegas.

Eventually, Summerlin Centre will join General Growth’s specialized portfolio of high-end projects, called GGPlatinum Properties, Michaels said. Other projects in that portfolio include Ala Moana Center in Honolulu and Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas.

“The Las Vegas market has matured tremendously in the last couple of years,” Hussain added. “It tells people that Vegas isn’t a little town any more.”