World Jewelry Center Announced
Probity International Corporation recently unveiled plans for one of the largest jewelry industry projects in the world: the 1 million-square-foot World Jewelry Center. The project is located on approximately 5.4 acres near downtown Las Vegas in the master-planned Las Vegas Union Park development adjacent to the World Market Center, which serves the wholesale furniture business. The World Jewelry Center will combine the corporate offices of several hundred domestic and international gem and jewelry companies in a trade tower that will be one of the tallest office buildings in Las Vegas. Plans call for the top floors of the tower to be dedicated to luxury residential condominiums. The mixed-use project will also contain a separate, free-standing gallery of retail stores. Scheduled opening for the project, designed by Altoon & Porter Architects, is late 2009 to mid-2010.SBA
Charles River Labs Receives State Honor
Charles River Laboratories was recently recognized as the “Distinguished Business of the Year” at the 22nd annual Governor’s Industry Appreciation Awards for Northern Nevada. At the event, 28 companies that have moved to or expanded in Northern Nevada were honored for contributing to the regional economy. Charles River Laboratories, a global provider of advanced pharmaceutical discovery and development, is expanding its operations and moving its facility from Sparks to south Reno, ultimately tripling its facility size to more than 450,000 square feet. The company will nearly double its workforce with the addition of more than 250 new employees beginning in mid-2007. This expansion represents more than $89 million in economic impact to the region.
Loans Break Nevada Record
Small businesses in Nevada took advantage of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) loan guarantee program in record numbers during fiscal year 2006, receiving 1,112 SBA-backed loans worth $271 million. Both the number of loans and the dollar volume broke previous state records. Women-owned companies received 248 loans totaling $49 million and minority-owned companies received 416 loans worth $107 million. Silver State Bank is the No. 1 SBA lender in Nevada as ranked by dollar volume. It closed $24.4 million in SBA 7(a) loans in Nevada during the last fiscal year.
Minimum Wage Law Changed
With the passage of the constitutional amendment changing Nevada’s minimum wage law, Labor Commissioner Michael Tanchek announced changes in requirements for minimum wage and overtime affecting Nevada employers. The amendment sets up a two-tiered system for Nevada. Employers who make a qualified health insurance plan available to their employees can pay a minimum wage of $5.15 per hour. Employers who don’t will have to pay at least $6.15 per hour. A qualified health insurance plan must provide coverage for employees and their dependents and the cost to the employee cannot exceed 10 percent of his or her gross taxable income. The only exemption allowed under the new amendment is for those employees under the age of 18 who are employed by non-profit organizations for after-school or summer employment or employed as trainees for a period not longer than 90 days. For more information, log on to www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-608.html.
Demographer Releases Population Projections
The Nevada State Demographer’s Office recently released its population projections for 2006 through 2026. Overall, Nevada is projected to grow by more than 1.8 million people, or 74 percent, over the next 20 years. “Nevada will likely continue to outpace the national growth rate,” said State Demographer Jeff Hardcastle. “The [U.S.] Census Bureau’s interim projections show the United States growing by 19 percent between 2000 and 2020.” Southern Nevada (Clark and Nye Counties) is projected to grow by more than 1.5 million people. The projections are used in preparing the state’s budget and for other planning purposes. Hardcastle said a number of variables could impact how much Nevada continues to grow. These factors include affordable housing, the federal deficit, the trade deficit, a continued reliance on foreign oil and global climate change.
Station Casinos Project Moves Forward
The Reno Planning Commission has recommended approval to grant special-use permits to Station Casinos to build a 900-room hotel that will feature non-restricted gaming, retail, restaurants and parking. The project would be located in the Redfield Regional Center in south Reno on the southwest corner of the Mt. Rose Highway and South Virginia Street intersection. The special-use permits will allow Station Casinos to increase the project’s building height to 255 feet for three proposed hotel towers, provide allowances for gaming space exceeding 80,000 square feet, and take into account large freestanding signs. The Redfield Regional Center is one of eight regional center master plans identified in the 2002 Truckee Meadows Regional Plan, which aimed to promote high-density mixed-use developments.