Less than a year after buying most of Showcase Mall, a group of New Yorkers has apparently bought another chunk of the Strip retail hub for big dollars.
Jordache jeans founders the Nakash family, real estate investor Eli Gindi and home-curtains manufacturer Elyahu Cohen have teamed up, property records indicate, to buy a roughly 97,500-square-foot section of Showcase.
The $139.5 million sale by Unilev Capital Corp. closed last Friday.
The deal is another retail-related bet on Las Vegas’ casino-packed resort corridor, where many visitors now are more interested in shopping, dining and nightclubs than hitting the card tables and slot machines, and where developers are building a growing menu of retail options.
In 2013, the average visitor in Las Vegas spent about $141 shopping here, up from $102 in 2009, according to GLS Research. And while those who gamble are spending more money trying to win, overall, 71 percent of visitors gambled in 2013, down from 83 percent in 2009, GLS found, in reports for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Ian Konowitch, Unilev’s director of acquisitions, declined to comment on details of the sale. But he said Unilev’s former section is fully leased and tenants’ sales are “higher than they’ve ever been.”
Luxury shopping is everywhere on the Strip, but Showcase offers lower-priced options that, according to Konowitch, appeal to the majority of visitors.
“This middle market of the Las Vegas Strip was strong when we bought it and has gotten stronger,” he said.
Jonathan Bennett, managing director of the Nakashes’ private-equity arm, Nakash Holdings, did not return calls for comment. Gindi declined to discuss the deal, and Cohen, owner of Regal Home Collections, did not respond to an email.
Showcase, next to MGM Grand, was built in phases by various investors starting in the 1990s and is known for its giant Coke bottle and M&M’s out front.
Until last week, ownership was held among three main groups: the Nakash family and Gindi, who bought an estimated 190,000-square-foot portion last May for $145 million; original developer Barry Fieldman, whose group owns about 42,000 square feet; and Unilev, of Beverly Hills, Calif., which bought a 97,500-square-foot section, containing the Hard Rock Cafe, Ross Dress for Less and Denny’s, for $93.5 million in 2011.
Gindi declined to say whether his group is trying to buy out Fieldman, who did not return a call seeking comment on last week's sale.
Unilev sold its portion to limited liability companies linked to the Nakash family, Gindi and Cohen, Clark County records show. The sales price was almost 50 percent above what Unilev paid.
The Nakash family’s Jordache Enterprises conglomerate includes clothing, aviation, olive oil and real estate investments. Last year, Bennett said the group invested in Showcase because of its location, brand-name tenants and price tag.
He also said the investors planned “to own it forever” and were eyeing aesthetic upgrades.