Simon agrees to buy $1.1B mall in Las Vegas

MGM Resorts International has reached an agreement to sell its Shops at Crystals mall in Las Vegas to a Simon Property Group Inc. partnership for $1.13 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction.

The deal may be completed soon, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the terms have not been made public. Representatives for Indianapolis-based  Simon and MGM Resorts declined to comment on the deal.

The property is part of MGM’s CityCenter, a $9 billion casino, hotel and retail complex on the Las Vegas Strip that is co-owned by the Dubai investment firm Infinity World Development Corp. The Las Vegas-based casino operator has been trying to reduce its debt load, in part due to pressure from Jonathan Litt’s activist firm Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC.

MGM Resorts put the mall up for sale three years ago, but halted the process after failing to get the offers it wanted. Since then, tourism to Las Vegas has grown. Real estate values in the city have also risen and the mall has added tenants, according to John Knott, who heads the casino practice at brokerage CBRE Group Inc. in Las Vegas.

The Shops at Crystal deal was reported Wednesday by newsletter Real Estate Alert.

Simon already owns several properties in Las Vegas, including The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas South Premium Outlets, and Las Vegas North Premium Outlets.

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