How Pandemic Caused Developer Yair Levy to Focus on Miami’s Diamond and Jewelry District – Florida Trend

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Yair Levy For over 20 years he has worked as a developer and investor in Manhattan when he turned his attention to downtown Miami a few years ago. Just last year, the pandemic hit the New York real estate market hard when it decided to diversify its real estate portfolio to reduce risks.

As a result, he moved to Miami to focus 100 percent on building a luxury diamond and jewelry center in downtown Miami. For decades, Miami’s diamond and jewelry district has flourished. However, many property owners neglected their buildings, leading to the deterioration of the area. Levy saw an opportunity to relocate the charming diamond and jewelry center to downtown Miami to capitalize on the area’s pent-up demand for luxury jewelry retail and wholesale.

That’s how Levy Time Century Jewelry Center in the heart of downtown Miami. The center currently under construction will be completed in mid-2022 to become the heart and soul of one of the largest diamond and jewelry districts in the United States.

Levy has increased leasing activity at Time Century since the start of the pandemic. From jewelers to diamond cutters, potential tenants come from New York, Europe, China and Latin America.

“The jewelry industry continues to grow in the US and around the world, and this trend is doing us tremendous value,” said Levy, who has leased more than 50 percent of retail and wholesale jewelry in recent months. “We have attracted tenants such as the famed Freddy’s Certified Diamonds & Fine Jewelry store in Miami, as well as Istanbul-based Markaled, which has served luxury buyers across Europe for decades. Miami is becoming an increasingly desirable destination not only for financial institutions and tech startups, but also for jewelers and diamond cutters focused on the region’s growing demographics and discretionary income. ”

The expansion of the Miami jewelry market is a sign of the times. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global jewelry market is expected to reach US $ 266.53 billion, with a CAGR of 3.7% between 2020 and 2027. This is due to the growing use of digital media to drive the demand for luxury jewelry.

“There is an upward trend in jewelry consumption as more and more people turn to luxury items,” says Fortune Business Insights. “The growing popularity of using [of jewelry] among those with high incomes as a symbol of high status helps to accelerate the rate of consumption. “

The expansion of the jewelry industry during the pandemic did not go unnoticed by lenders. Levy received a $ 23.6 million loan earlier this year to help fund the $ 50 million renovation of the former Metro Mall building. Time Century is positioned as the gem of downtown Miami’s diamond and jewelry district when it opens a year later. With glass windows, high ceilings, elegant escalators and elevators, and state-of-the-art security, Time Century will be the first high-end retail space in the area.

The diamond jewelry center will have four floors of high-end jewelry retail and wholesale areas, as well as four additional office floors. A large three-story atrium with newly designed escalators and computerized catalogs will guide customers at all levels with ease. Most tenants will have unobstructed signs visible from the ground floor. Customers will also be able to use Time Century valet parking and several newly built public garages just steps from the building.

Miami’s vibrant jewelry and diamond district, along NE First Street and E Flagler Street, has over 400 jewelry stores within a four-block radius. The district has annual sales of approximately $ 1 billion. The area is just minutes from Port of Miami, internationally known as the “Cruise Capital of the World”. Millions of tourists visit Downtown Miami every year, and many more are expected to arrive soon as the Brightline commuter train opens a station in Orlando connecting Miami tourists to the Orlando theme parks.

In addition to tourists, the number of permanent residents has skyrocketed in downtown Miami. In the last decade, people have moved to multi-storey buildings with many amenities built in the area. As a result, its population is expected to reach 109,617 by now. This will be 67 percent more than in 2010. Miami has been ranked as the fourth most pedestrianized city in the United States due to its downtown area. The main factor behind this growth is its diamond and jewelry region.

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