Miami’s historic downtown jewelry district is getting a new showcase

South Florida’s jewelers are getting a new showcase. The Metro Mall Miami is expected to…

South Florida’s jewelers are getting a new showcase. The Metro Mall Miami is expected to open in downtown by June 2021.

A year after purchasing the 104-year-old building for $15 million, Yair Levy, a New York investor and leader of the family-owned business Time Century Holdings, has revealed plans to reopen with four floors of showrooms for retailers and wholesalers and another four floors of offices at 1 NE First Street. It sits just steps away from The Seybold Jewelry Building, long the beacon of Miami’s wholesale jewelry trade.

About 30% of the Metro Mall building’s 100,000 square feet of retail space has been leased, with letters of intent coming from a variety of jewelers, said Time Century Holdings Managing Director Dan Deutsch.

Miami architect Kobi Karp is redesigning the building interiors.

“We have already signed leases with high-profile jewelry stores who realized they and their customers deserve better,” said Levy in the press release. “That’s why I saw a great opportunity to innovate to capture a large share of the jewelry industry.”

Another 115,000 square feet of office space has not yet been let.

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In recent years, tenants including Kirk Jewelers have abandoned the historic jewelry district as foot traffic has dwindled.

But, Deutsch said, “it’s a scattered community over four to five blocks. If you build something that is brand new and central, it will benefit the entire community.”

Activity in the area has picked up in the past two years, Deutsch said, with more cafes and restaurants filling the once-vacant spaces in the area. According to the Downtown Development Authority, the neighborhood is expected to have 110,000 residents by 2021.