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Blackstone Said to Buy Vegas’s Hughes Center for $347 Million

Blackstone Group LP, one of the largest U.S. office owners, bought the Hughes Center complex in Las Vegas for $347 million in a bet on growth in the Nevada economy, said two people with knowledge of the purchase.

The acquisition was completed today, said the people, who asked not to be named because the deal is private. The seller was Crescent Real Estate Holdings LLC, a joint venture of Barclays Plc’s Barclays Capital unit and Goff Capital Partners LP, based in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Hughes Center has about 1.5 million square feet (139,350 square meters) and includes office space, a hotel, restaurants and corporate residential facilities on 68 acres (28 hectares), according to the website of Blackstone’s Equity Office unit, which will manage the property. The Las Vegas Sun reported the deal earlier today.

Christine Anderson, a spokeswoman for New York-based Blackstone, declined to comment. Brandon Ashcraft, a spokesman for Barclays Capital, and John Goff, the owner, chairman and chief executive officer of Goff Capital, didn’t immediately respond to calls or e-mails seeking comment. Goff also is chairman and CEO of Crescent.

Crescent has been selling assets it acquired at the bottom of the market in 2009 as the real estate market rebounds from the recession. John Goff previously was the head of Crescent Real Estate Equities Co., which he sold to Morgan Stanley for $6.5 billion in 2007, close to the real estate market’s peak. He then bought back the holdings with Barclays at a discount after the credit crisis forced Morgan Stanley to take writedowns and losses of about $950 million.

Crescent Real Estate Holdings recently sold Greenway Plaza, a 4.4 million-square-foot office complex in Houston. The company’s other assets include offices in Denver, a Ritz-Carlton hotel and condominiums in Dallas, and Canyon Ranch spas in Tucson, Arizona, and Lenox, Massachusetts.

Blackstone in May agreed to buy 17 million square feet of warehouses with Prologis Inc. for about $960 million, including about 9.5 million square feet of warehouses and distribution centers in Reno, Nevada, that Blackstone will operate.

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