Dubai World-backed tower in Las Vegas stalled

One of the signature towers in the $9 billion CityCenter development in Las Vegas, co-developed by MGM Resorts and Dubai World, sits empty, mired in lawsuits and charges of shoddy construction.

The Harmon Tower, designed by Foster + Partners, is one of five separate tower projects in the development on the Las Vegas Strip, each designed by a star architect. The other towers are open, but work has stopped on the Harmon after accusations emerged of structural defects.

The Harmon was originally planned for 49-storeys, but was cut back to 26 storeys after inspections discovered irregularities in the steel construction. At the same time, 200 condos were axed from the plan.

But work stopped on the project last year as the contractor and MGM fought over the state of the project. An engineering firm hired by MGM concluded the tower would likely collapse in a "code-level earthquake," which naturally made headlines in Las Vegas.

MGM and the contractor continue to battle and now the local authorities are involved. In July Clark County gave MGM an Aug. 15 deadline to offer a "plan of action" to "abate the potential for structural collapse".

Meanwhile the building is used to display signs advertising events on the Strip.  And the Harmon is no longer mentioned on the CityCenter Web site.

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The Harmon has been described as the most expensive billboard on The Strip (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  

Published: August 1, 2011 04:00 AM

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