General Growth Sells Stake in Las Vegas Shopping Mall

General Growth Properties Inc. (GGP) sold half its interest in the Grand Canal Shoppes, including the Shoppes at the Palazzo, in Las Vegas for net proceeds of $410 million as part of a new joint venture with TIAA-CREF.

The 774,000-square-foot (72,000-square-meter) mall in the Venetian and the Palazzo hotel-and-casino complex on the Las Vegas Strip is 99 percent leased, the partners said today in a statement. General Growth, based in Chicago, said it will continue to handle management and leasing of the property, which generates more than $1,000 of sales per square foot.

The investment boosts New York-based TIAA-CREF’s real estate holdings as demand for luxury-mall space climbs. At regional centers, which typically include department stores, vacancies fell to 8.3 percent in the first quarter from 9 percent a year earlier, and rents rose to $39.46 a square foot from $39, research firm Reis Inc. (REIS) said on April 4.

Tenants at Grand Canal include Sephora, Swarovski, Banana Republic, Kenneth Cole, Godiva Chocolatier and the Art of Shaving, according to General Growth’s website.

TIAA-CREF, the provider of retirement accounts for teachers and non-profit organizations, had $520 billion of assets under management as of the end of March, according to the statement. General Growth is the biggest U.S. mall owner after Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. (SPG)

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