Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 | 10:01 a.m.
Wynn Resorts has sold almost half its interest in Wynn Plaza, the new mall it is building on the Las Vegas Strip, and 88,233 square feet of other retail space at its two Strip resorts to Crown Acquisitions for $472 million.
As part of the deal, which was announced Tuesday, Wynn will be managing member of the new venture, retaining 50.1 percent ownership. It will receive $292 million at the closing of the deal and $180 million when construction on the mall is complete, the company said.
Wynn Plaza, a two-story, 75,518-square-foot mall, is scheduled to open in fall 2017. The other retail space included in the deal are the three main shopping areas in the Wynn Las Vegas and the Encore.
Smaller miscellaneous retail shops like those near the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore spas are not included in the deal and neither is retail space Wynn Resorts has in its Macau properties or will have in Boston Harbor, the resort it’s building in Massachusetts.
Crown Acquisitions is a New York-based, family-owned company with multiple commercial properties in New York as well as Miami and other parts of the world.
The move could be a way for Wynn to expand its reach in the retail world, said one Las Vegas retail professional who added that similar deals had been done for the Fashion Show and the Grand Canal Shops.
“Those other two examples seemed to be equity plays,” said Brian Sorrentino of ROI Commercial Real Estate. “This time it appears (Wynn) is looking for strength in a retail developer to manage their projects. Of course, this is all speculation on my behalf.”
“But Crown represents some pretty high-profile retail in other parts of the country and the world. Maybe Wynn feels it will have a better conduit to get the kind of tenants they are looking for. And they are looking for extremely high-end clientele in those shops, not the norm.”
The deal is the latest example this year of major Strip shopping malls changing hands.
In mid-October, Boulevard Invest LLC sold the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood to Institutional Mall Investors LLC for an undisclosed price.
And in April, MGM Resorts International announced it sold Crystals mall at City Center to Invesco Real Estate and Simon Property Group for $1.1 billion.