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Miracle Mile Shops on Las Vegas Strip sold to investment partnership

The Miracle Mile Shops, the 200-store indoor mall embedded within the Planet Hollywood Resort on the Strip, has been sold to an investment partnership.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but sources familiar with the transaction said the purchase price was just under $1.1 billion.

Institutional Mall Investors LLC, a co-investment venture company owned by Miller Capital Advisory Inc. of Skokie, Illinois, and CalPERS, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, an agency in the California executive branch that manages pension and health benefits for more than 1.6 million California public employees and retirees, acquired the mall. A formal announcement is expected to be made Monday.

“We’re extremely proud of the job our entire team has done over the last decade, weathering Las Vegas’ economic downturn and rebounding to make Miracle Mile Shops one of the 10 busiest malls in the country,” said David Edelstein of Tristar Capital, which along with RFR Holdings comprises the partnership behind Boulevard Invest LLC, the mall’s previous owner.

“With its location, tenant mix and Las Vegas’ continued growth, we believe Miracle Mile Shops is ideally poised to continue its upward trajectory and we’re confident that Institutional Mall Investors LLC is the right company to take the center to the next level,” Edelstein said.

Tristar Capital and RFR Holdings took ownership of the mall, anchored by the Axis theater, home of the Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez residencies, in 2004.

The mall is attached to the 2,567-room Planet Hollywood Resort, which also has a 100,000-square-foot casino.

The mall’s tenants include PBR Rock Bar & Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, MAC Cosmetics, H&M, French Connection, Sephora, Garrett Popcorn Shops, Guess, Nacho Daddy, Cabo Wabo Cantina, Sin City Brewing Co., Club Tattoo and Flight 23 at Footaction.

“Las Vegas continues to set record visitor numbers and that is certainly reflected in the traffic we see at Miracle Mile Shops,” Miller Capital Advisory President and CEO Andrew Miller said. “The world-class mix of tenants appeals to a broad demographic and we expect to continue to build on the mall’s current success.”

The 475,000-square-foot mall, built by Trizec Properties, opened in August 2000 as Desert Passage, a $300 million feature of the newly redesigned Aladdin. In 2007, the mall changed its name to the Miracle Mile Shops to match the theme of the Aladdin’s conversion to Planet Hollywood Resort.

The sale comes after MGM Resorts International’s April announcement that the $1.1 billion sale of the Shops at Crystals mall, also on the Strip, had closed.

CityCenter Holdings LLC in March announced it was selling the luxury mall to Invesco Real Estate and Simon Property Group. CityCenter Holdings is a joint venture between MGM Resorts and Infinity World Development Corp., a Dubai World subsidiary.

Simon Property Group Chairman and CEO David Simon called the Crystals acquisition “an extraordinary opportunity to obtain a high-quality asset in a growing marketplace.”

Local real estate brokers, in a March Review-Journal article, praised the Crystals deal as a vote of confidence in the resort corridor.

“Whenever you have someone like Invesco, which has some of the brightest financial minds in the world, pairing up with arguably the best mall operator in the world to make this kind of investment, they’re clearly bullish on the market,” said Matt Bear, a retail expert and vice president in the Global Gaming Group of commercial brokerage CBRE Las Vegas. “Investors don’t pay top dollar if they don’t think there’s growth — or at worst, stability. Two of the best in the business have chosen to invest more in Las Vegas.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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