CityCenter, the $11 billion hotel, entertainment and shopping development in the Las Vegas Strip, was a big gamble when it opened in 2009 during the recession when the city’s visitor traffic and sales had plummeted.
On Friday, CityCenter Holdings LLC, a venture between MGM Resorts International and Infinity World Development Corp., said it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell The Shops at Crystals to a venture led by Invesco Real Estate and Simon Property Group for $1.1 billion.
The 324,000-square-foot Shops at Crystals features Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford, Prada and Tiffany & Co. as well as 30 unique to the market retailers, including Céline, Saint Laurent and Richard Mille.
“This transaction demonstrates the strength in Las Vegas as a premier destination for visitors around the world. A staple of CityCenter and ideally located on the Las Vegas Strip, The Shops at Crystals provides the preeminent luxury retail experience,” said Jim Murren, chairman and ceo of MGM Resorts International. “We believe that Invesco Real Estate and Simon Property Group are the ideal stewards to maintain the high quality of the asset and usher in a new era of success.”
Simon has experience in Las Vegas as the owner of The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, one of the highest-grossing shopping centers in the country.
“The acquisition of The Shops at Crystals provides us with an extraordinary opportunity to obtain a unique high-quality asset in a growing marketplace,” said David Simon, chairman and ceo. “We look forward to perpetuating and building upon the successful foundation that CityCenter has created to further distinguish The Shops at Crystals as a leading retail destination.”
Daniel Libeskind designed the exterior of The Shops at Crystals and its interior was designed by David Rockwell.
When CityCenter opened, the city’s unemployment rate was nearly 14 percent, home prices were 50 percent below their peak and foreclosure rates were among the highest in the country.
Las Vegas has come back from the brink when recession-hit frugal consumers avoided displays of excess. Many luxury brands have multiple stores at different resorts along The Strip, arguing that visitors rarely leave their resorts and casinos.
A sign of confidence in the Shops at Crystals is the expansion in January of Hermès’ store to 13,500 square feet from 4,600 square feet.
CityCenter was represented by JLL, who brokered the sale.