Following the trend of shopping center development with an ethnic consumer in mind, two Southwest-based real estate development firms plan to build what will become an 180,000-square-foot shopping center in the region targeting Asians. The partners plan to start construction in May, with opening scheduled for late spring/early summer 2009.

“We expect an extreme amount of foot traffic,” said Blake Sands, vice president of finance with one of the developers, Las Vegas-based DFG Development Corp.

DFG and its development partner, San Diego-based McMahon Development Group, will bring in an HMart, a supermarket that tends to be popular with both Asian and non-Asian consumers. The rest of the center will be leased to a mixture of Asian and non-Asian tenants, including an Asian bakery, a tavern, a karaoke bar, a brand-name coffee shop, an optical shop, as well as apparel and jewelry sellers. There are more than 22,879 Asians living in the Las Vegas area, comprising more than 4.8 percent of the city's population.