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No gamble: Simon to expand cash cow The Forum Shops

Simon Property Group plans to expand The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace by extending it to the Las Vegas Strip and adding an array of upscale retailers and restaurants.

Simon and the parent company of Caesar’s Palace, Park Place Entertainment Corp., today announced plans to add 200,000 sq. ft. to the successful three-level retail center by expanding the mall’s selection of luxury tenants, adding several new restaurants and building a pedestrian plaza from Las Vegas Boulevard. The companies said construction will begin soon and should be finished in 2004.

Simon’s CEO, David Simon, calls The Forum Shops "the most valuable retail real estate in all of Las Vegas," with about 20 million visitors in 2001 alone.

In fact, The Forum Shops may be one of the most productive retail centers in the whole country, says Ross Nussbaum, retail REIT analyst for Salomon Smith Barney. Although Simon Property Group does not release sales data for individual centers in its portfolio, The Forum Shops may bring in as much as $1,000 per sq. ft., Nussbaum says.

According to Simon Property Group, several designer and couture tenants have already signed leases to join the existing Forum Shops, including Robert Cavalli, Chopard, Dolce & Gabbana, D & G Sport, Furla, MAC Cosmetics, Donald Pliner, Tod's, Tourneau, Valentino and Louis Vuitton.

Thomas Gallagher, president and CEO of Park Place Entertainment, notes that the addition will complement the new 4,000-seat Colosseum, which opens in March 2003 with a theatrical production starring Celine Dion.

The Forum Shops at Caesars opened in May 1992 with 283,000 sq. ft. of GLA. The second phase, which increased The Forum Shops' size to 500,000 sq. ft., was completed in August 1997.

-- Staff and wire reports

TAGS: Development
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