For New York real estate developer Yair Levy, a visit to the Miami Jewelry District a few years ago made him focus on Downtown Miami. Levy has a long history of knowing excellent retail locations. He started his career in the clothing business several decades ago in one of the most competitive markets in New York City.
Looking for an opportunity to buy and develop in locations like Miami Beach, Aventura, and Wynwood did not inspire Levy to take the risk that most developers face when cultivating new markets. Levy always relied on his instinct for up-and-coming locations to guide him on his quest to invest in the hot market of South Florida. He explored all his options and saw opportunity in Downtown Miami.
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What was needed was an influx of not only capital but creativity and vitality. There was an opportunity to capitalize on the interest of businesses to relocate to Miami after Covid 19. That and the rush of buyers to a red hot Miami luxury real estate market. Levy locked into a truly unique development opportunity, and bought the land that housed the Richard’s Metro Mall at 1 NE 1st Street.
There he knew he could meld an influx of affluent consumers moving into all the new luxury condos and apartments currently under construction close to his recreation of Miami’s Jewelry District, bringing all the glitz and glamour of the 50s and 60s into a modern luxury setting. That was the genesis of the idea for an area that generates close to $1 billion in sales annually.
Miami jewelry sector melds with one of the U.S.’s hottest luxury real estate markets
“With my background in retail, having owned over 21 stores in the New York area, I was very familiar with the jewelry industry,” Yair Levy said in an interview with Regarding Luxury. “So, when I decided to develop in Miami, I analyzed all the obvious areas before I came to Downtown Miami. When I saw this location, I thought it was a prime opportunity. A big part of what I have done in the past is marketing. I looked at the area and focused on what was missing and the potential market it could attract.
“When I saw that jewelry retail was thriving and growing here, I felt the area was missing a nice new building. It needed a bold new jewelry center. My broker said, ‘You don’t see anything like this in New York,’ which made it exciting for me.”
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Time Century Jewelry Center Rendering Designed by Kobi Karp Architects
And here we are, in 2022, where the Time Century Jewelry Center is set to open its doors after a $50 million investment. Levy sees his project and a more vibrant jewelry and watches center as a magnet for cutting-edge young modern jewelry designers. There they will join the bedrock retailers already on site. Many are looking to make their mark in one of the country’s top luxury real estate markets.
This melding of the new generation with established companies is meant to spur a call to action in jewelry making, diamond cutting, and retail concepts. That is why Time Century Jewelry Center will be marketed as a destination.
Levy likes to travel the world searching for inspiration. The materials are not only eco-friendly but reflect a modern sensibility for materials, design, and furnishings. That’s what he found on his adventures in Italy, Turkey, Israel, and Europe.
Entrance Façade of 1 N.E. 1st Street Location
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Time Century Jewelry Center will dominate an entire city block. At 225,000 square feet and ten floors, it will house over 300 jewelry retailers, wholesalers, and offices. An outstanding feature will be the three-story atrium with custom-designed escalators and glass-enclosed showrooms.
Modern, open, and airy, this soaring glass-enclosed atrium will feature international jewelry showrooms, manufacturers, and wholesalers. There will be unobstructed signage and interior design viewable from the main floor. Shoppers will see through to the elegant salons throughout those first three levels. With the constant influx of tourists, Yair Levy sees Time Century Jewelry Center as a must-see jewelry mecca for visitors and residents alike.
New York developer Yair Levy, center, with family who all work at Time Century Holdings
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“There will be an exclusive floor just for diamond dealers, cutters, and designers,” Levy says. “That was also missing from the area.”
Valet parking and two new upscale restaurants will also mark this new anchor tower at 1 NE First Street. The building is in one of the fast-growing downtown areas in the country. Time Century Jewelry Center is on a prominent street corner and designed with a beautiful façade by Kobi Karp Architects. And Miami is one of the most walkable cities in North America.
DGA Security Systems, one of the industry’s top consultants in security, will be part of the offerings to tenants at Time Century. DGA specializes in protecting diamond and jewelry businesses. They have multiple security protocols for tenants and visitors alike.
“We plan to make Time Century Jewelry building a secure environment that will both promote business and protect inventory,” says Levy. “We know how important security is for our tenants.”
Interior renderings of glass enclosed atrium
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With an influx of affluent consumers moving into Downtown Miami, there’s an opportunity to turn this area into a world-class jewelry destination.
“Make it a worldwide hotspot for jewelry and watch purchases, is the way I see it,” Levy says.