Thursday, March 25, 2004 | 11:07 a.m.
Triple Five Nevada Development Corp., developer of some of the world's largest retail properties, said today that it plans to build the largest mall in Las Vegas.
The mall, to be called The Great Mall of Las Vegas, will be similar to Triple Five's famous Mall of America near Minneapolis and the world's largest mall, a Triple Five property in Alberta, Canada.
The Great Mall is expected to be at least 2 million square feet and will be built in northwest Las Vegas near the southwest corner of U.S. 95 and the Las Vegas Beltway. Currently, the largest mall in Las Vegas, at 1.9 million square feet, is The Rouse Co.'s Fashion Show mall on the Las Vegas Strip.
"This is going to be a very unusual mall in Las Vegas," said Jean Marc Joveidi, senior executive vice president of Triple Five Nevada.
Triple Five Nevada is part of the Triple Five Group, which has offices in Las Vegas and the Canada city of Edmonton, Alberta. The company is owned by the Ghermezian family. Triple Five Nevada is the developer of numerous local retail centers, including Boca Park and Fashion Village at Boca Park, both at Rampart and Charleston Boulevards, as well as Grand Canyon Parkway at Flamingo Road and Interstate 215.
Joveidi said the company already owns 70 acres of land for the mall project and is looking to buy more land.
Rumors have been circulating for weeks that someone was going to build a Mall of America-style retail center in Las Vegas. Joveidi said the company was trying to hold off on announcing the project until the upcoming International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) convention, held in Las Vegas this May. The convention is a gathering of retail developers and retail companies whose executives attend to make deals and swap ideas.
Jeremy Aguero, principal analyst with research firm Applied Analysis, said he's heard of numerous projects planned for the northwest corridor.
"There is a concern that there is a lack of regional facilities throughout that northwest corridor," he said.
Aguero said the mall concept along with other commercial projects and the growing residential neighborhoods make it a good addition to the area.
"The northwest and southwest (portions of the Las Vegas Valley), those corridors are farther away from regional retail centers than any other area," he said.
Garry Goett, president of Southern Highlands Development, announced plans this week for a regional mall totaling more than 1 million square feet and at least one casino included in a larger development plan for land near the Southern Highlands planned community in the southwest Las Vegas Valley.
Joveidi isn't concerned about Goett's mall, and said The Great Mall of Las Vegas will be unique, unlike any in scope or size in the valley.
"The market is large enough for us and other projects," he said.
The Great Mall plans, which are still in the works, call for an ice rink, miniature golf, and an amusement park. Joveidi said the mall will be enclosed, but will feature a glass-domed roof to allow natural light to filter into the mall and to give it an outdoor feel in an air-conditioned climate.
"We are trying to do something very family oriented and tourist oriented," he said.
Aguero said all retailers want to attract a portion of the 35 million tourists that come to Las Vegas each year. He said The Great Mall of Las Vegas probably will capture some tourists, but said that it is unlikely to be supported primarily by tourist dollars.
Joveidi said he did not have any retailers to announce, but said there will be several anchors that already are in the valley and some new anchors.
He said possible anchors have expressed plans to have unique concepts for the mall.
"It's going to have a Mall of America look and a Vegas quality," Joveidi said.
Joveidi said firm plans and anchors will be announced at this spring's ICSC convention, along with expansion plans of its Boca Park and Grand Canyon Parkway and a possible second mall developed by Triple Five. Joveidi did not disclose information on that project.
Triple Five Nevada chose the northwest portion of the valley for the mall because of its fast growth and because it's where retailers said they wanted to be, Joveidi said.
"The growth is unbelievable, when you look at the master plan for the community and the planned growth over the next 10 years," he said. "We also asked people in the industry where they wanted to be, and everybody from Victoria's Secret to Macy's said the northwest."
Joveidi said people are "hungry for quality projects that are family oriented."
"Vegas is growing very fast, with 7,000 to 10,000 people coming here every month," he said. "It really needs to cater to people with quality projects and that's what's missing in Vegas. A Mall of America idea -- that's what's missing.
The Mall of America opened in Bloomington, Minn., just outside Minneapolis, in 1992 and houses 520 shops, almost 90 eateries, 8 nightclubs, movie theaters, an indoor theme park, and a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium, in a 4.2 million-square-foot complex. It is the nation's largest retail and entertainment complex.
Triple Five was partnered with Simon Property Group, owners of the Forum Shops, in the Mall of America, until a federal judge stripped Simon of any control. The two companies continue to fight court battles over details and fiduciary duties.
The West Edmonton Mall, in the Province of Alberta, is 5.3 million square feet and was named the largest retail complex in the world by Guinness World Records. The complex, which spans 48 city blocks, has 800 stores, 110 restaurants, and among its other attractions, an ice rink, water park, miniature golf, an indoor amusement park and a dolphin petting zoo.