Jacksonville is gaining another headquarters — Global Diamonds, a new retail company formed by Doron Arabov, a more than 30-year industry veteran and the son of a pioneer in diamond-cutting and manufacturing.
Doron Arabov is sole owner of Arabov Global Diamonds, a diamond wholesale company headquartered in the Israel Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan. He founded it in 2012.
His father, David Arabov, was a pioneer in the diamond-cutting and manufacturing industry in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Doron Arabov, who formerly co-owned Charlotte, N.C.-based Diamonds Direct with his brothers, intends to open his first Global Diamonds store in The Markets at Town Center in St. Johns Town Center.
The company said the store should open by Dec. 1 after an estimated $1.5 million construction job. Upon completion, Global Diamonds will be based in Jacksonville.
The company expects to soon hire 15-20 employees.
The city is reviewing a building permit application for Global Diamonds at 4870 Big Island Drive. ShayCore is shown as the contractor for the $495,000 tenant build-out for the 4,493-square-foot space near Kirkland’s.
The management company for The Markets at Town Center said it’s always nice to have the first store in the market.
“It’s new to the market, it’s new to the area,” said Helen Ciesla, regional property manager for Genesis Real Estate Advisers, the management company for the Markets’ owner.
“They do a great job with their build-out. They will be a very nice addition to the shopping center,” she said.
Ciesla said The Markets at Town Center, which is adjacent to the St. Johns Town Center, is more than 90 percent leased.
Global Diamonds says it is a direct diamond importer, instead of buying through wholesalers and brokers.
“We hand select our diamonds and purchase direct from the world’s best diamond cutters,” says an email from the company’s marketing representative.
The company said the practice eliminates unnecessary markups and allows Global Diamonds “to be able to stock up to 15 times the inventory that you find in traditional jewelry stores.”
Global Diamonds chose Jacksonville because of its demographics and growth.
“Jacksonville is vibrant, forward-thinking and a truly exciting place. We believe that our concept is a perfect fit for Jacksonville,” it said.
It expects to attract customers from an area north to Savannah, Ga., and south to Orlando.
Arabov has been involved in all facets of the diamond industry since childhood: mining, manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing.
He and his brothers had been involved in a lawsuit over the ownership of Diamonds Direct, but Global Diamonds said the lawsuit was dismissed. It said Arabov is no longer a part of Diamonds Direct but maintains “a very positive relationship with his siblings.”
Birko Roland, who worked with Diamonds Direct in Birmingham and Austin before leaving the company early last year, is vice president and general manager of Global Diamonds in Jacksonville.
Global Diamonds Inc., incorporated in Maryland, applied July 28 to do business in Florida. It amended the filingAug. 25.
The Jacksonville store will become its corporate address, the company said.
Arabov, a citizen of Israel, visits the U.S. often, the company said, “and intends to spend a considerable amount of time in Jacksonville in the months and years to come.”
Arabov is the president and treasurer, and Yoav Gershoni is the vice president and secretary. The company said Gershoni is a relative and holds a minority position in the company.
Gershoni founded Global Medical LLC, based in Jessup, Md., where he served as CEO until it was sold in December to Louisville, Ky.-based RecoverCare LLC for undisclosed terms.
His LinkedIn profile lists his current title as president of the Hospice Division at RecoverCare in Maryland.
The city has issued a business license for Global Diamonds Inc. to Gershoni at the Big Island Drive address.