Simon Rumored to Eye Vegas Blockbuster

Simon Property Group Inc. has reportedly struck a $1.1 billion deal for one of Las Vegas' premier retail destinations.

Las Vegas—Rumors swirled on Thursday that a group headed by Simon Property Group Inc. has struck a $1.1 billion deal with MGM Resorts International to buy one of Las Vegas’ premiere retail destinations, the Shops at Crystals.

The Shops at Crystals, rumored to be the subject of a proposed deal.

The Shops at Crystals, rumored to be the subject of a proposed deal.

Simon and MGM Resorts have yet to comment publicly on the reports, which surfaced earlier this week in Real Estate Alert.

If the reported deal does bear fruit, the retail REIT would add a plum property to an already sizable Las Vegas portfolio. Located in MGM Resorts’ $9 billion CityCenter complex on the Las Vegas Strip, the Shops at Crystals is part of the Aria resort.

It is owned by a joint venture of MGM Resorts and Infinity World Development Corp., an affiliate of Dubai World Corp., an investment management entity controlled by the ruler of Dubai. It opened in December 2009 and encompasses nearly 60 upscale shops and restaurants in a 500,000-square-foot platform.

If the deal closes, the Shops at Crystals would join Simon’s portfolio of Las Vegas-area properties that includes The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas North Premium Outlets and Las Vegas South Premium Outlets. Union Gaming pointed out in a research note on Wednesday that “the sale of Crystals Mall had been highly anticipated, which came to light again in January when reports of a deal involving JP Morgan’s Strategic Property Fund fell through.”