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LAS VEGAS-Marriott International is gobbling up the better part of a full block of properties across from the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Bethesda, MD-based public company has acquired or put under contract five contiguous parcels totaling 10.6 acres for an aggregate price of $186 million, or $17.55 million per acre.

The properties are all located on the block bound by Convention Center Drive, Paradise Road, East Desert Inn Road and Debbie Reynolds Drive. Immediately to the west, across Paradise Road, is the Las Vegas Convention Center. Immediately to the south, across East Desert Inn Road, is the Wynn Las Vegas Golf Club.

The properties Marriott has or is under contract to acquire touch all four of the streets on the block. A spokesperson for Marriott acknowledged for GlobeSt.com the company’s interest in acquiring properties in the area but could not immediately provide additional detail on the company’s plans. A source at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau, which operates the convention center, tells GlobeSt.com it has not been made aware of Marriott’s future plans for the site.

“The area is all of a sudden starting to catch spark like Strip property,” David Atwell, a longtime local resort broker who handed the sale of the adjacent Debbie Reynolds hotel (now the Greek Isle), tells GlobeSt.com. “Property values are escalating, especially for assemblage pieces like this on.”

Under the name MRC I Funding Corp., Marriott’s buying spree began in December 2006, when it paid $24.75 million for two parcels totaling 1.35 acres at the corner of Convention Center Drive and Paradise Road. The property was home to a night club that has since been shut down, according to locals familiar with the property.

In April, it acquired the bulk of the middle of the block, a 6.47-acre chunk touching Debbie Reynolds, Paradise and East Desert Inn that is home to a Residence Inn by Marriott, for $65 million. In June, it picked up a .68-acre parcel fronting Debbie Reynolds Drive for $8.75 million.

Last month, it put under contract the Marriott Suites hotel at the corner of Debbie Reynolds and Convention Center, a 2.15-acre property for which it has agreed to pay $87.5 million. The transaction is expected close this month.

The sellers of the two largest properties–the Marriott Suites and the Residence Inn–are two different Apple Hospitality REITs underwritten by David Lerner Associates, an investment advisor based in Syosset, NY. Apple Hospitality Five is the seller of the Marriott Suites property and Apple Hospitality Two sold the Residence Inn property. Apple Hospitality Two has since been acquired by ING Clarion and Apple Hospitality Five has agreed to be acquired by Inland American Real Estate Trust.

With the acquisition of the Marriott Suites, there will remain five parcels on the block that Marriott does not own, four of which it could potentially acquire. The largest, a 3.85-acre parcel at the corner of East Desert Inn and Paradise, is a Courtyard by Marriott hotel that Marriott International sold off in 1992 and now leases from the owner, Marcourt Investments, which is controlled in part by CPA 15 Inc., a public non-traded REIT sponsored by WP Carey.

The other properties Marriott could acquire are three contiguous .33-acre parcels fronting Convention Center Drive that hold Piero’s, a restaurant owned by Fred Glusman, who could not be reached for comment. The one parcel it cannot acquire is Metropolis, a residential condominium development at the corner of East Desert Inn and Debbie Reynolds.

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