LAS VEGAS-The 2.1 million-sf third building at World Market Center is “virtually” full nine months prior to its completion, according to those involved. When completed next summer, the $540-million building will take the total square footage of World Market Center to 5 million sf and the total investment to $1.1 billion. Scheduled for completion in 2013, the $2-billion World Market Center development is slated for eight buildings totaling 12 million, which would make it the largest trade complex in the world.

World Market Center is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and convention complex in Las Vegas, a place where designers and manufacturers lease space to show off their latest products to retailers and other wholesale buyers. World Market Center LLC last week completed its largest event to date, with exhibitors occupying more than 3.8 million sf of permanent and temporary exhibit space in the region. The event included 250 new exhibitors and more than 50,000 attendees, including a 27% jump in the number of international buyers.

The World Market Center complex was conceived by real estate developers Jack Kashani and Shawn Samson in 1999. In 2004, they brought on the Related Cos. LP of New York to help finance the development. The 1.3-million-sf first building opened in July 2005. The $345-million, 1.6-milion-sf second building was completed at the start of 2007. The third building, the largest yet at 2.1 million sf, got under way in October with about 25% of the building having been preleased.

The developers now say that “virtually every space in Building C has been spoken for through signed leases and commitments.” In addition to new leases signed or being negotiated by the likes of Lexington, Sligh Furniture, Mohawk, Mark Roberts, and Pacific Coast Lighting, the mix in the third building includes companies such as AICO, Standard, and Coaster that will relocate from the first two buildings in order to expand their showrooms, according to the developers.

The 16-story third building will have 130,000-sf floor plates and will connect to the second building via sky bridges on every level. The first and second buildings are connected on floors two through 10. The lease rates vary depending on the size of the leasehold, the length of commitment and the location within a building. The lease rate range for the third building was not immediately available. A lease signed for the second building one year ago was in the mid $20s per sf, triple net, according to the lessee, Emerald Home Furnishings of Tacoma, WA, which took about 16,000 sf on the 13th floor.

Located near the confluence of South Grand Central Parkway, West Charleston Boulevard and Interstate 15, World Market Center is located near Las Vegas Premium Outlets. It also is located near a 5.4-acre site that is slated to become home to the jewelry industry’s version of World Market Center. In October, developer Robert Zarnegin of Beverly Hills, CA unveiled plans for a one-million-sf complex that will include a 50-plus story trade tower that would house corporate jewelry and gem offices and luxury condos that will be closed to the general public and, next to it, a three-level public space filled with retail jewelry shops, a museum and a café.

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