Dubai owned Las Vegas hotel to be demolished

Destruction approved for unfinished hotel after structural flaws found

The CityCenter hotel development, Las Vegas, USA (Getty Images).
The CityCenter hotel development, Las Vegas, USA (Getty Images).

A judge in the US has granted permission for Dubai World, the investment arm of the Dubai government, to demolish the flawed, half-built Harmon Hotel tower of the CityCenter Las Vegas development, reports the Las Vegas Sun.

The Harmon Hotel tower, co-owned by MGM Resorts International, was originally planned to be a 48-story component of the AED 31.2 billion (US $8.5 billion) CityCenter project that opened in December 2009. However, inspectors found flaws in the steel reinforcements used in the concrete structure, and tower construction was frozen at 26 stories.

CityCenter's consultants have reportedly said that the building could collapse in a strong earthquake — one that has a 50 percent chance of happening in the next 30 years.

Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez approved CityCenter's motion Friday, clearing the way for owners MGM Resorts International and Dubai World to raze the Harmon Hotel tower. CityCenter officials said they would immediately start planning for the demolition, which could happen within a year.

Developers are now embroiled in a lawsuit with builder Tutor Perini Building Co. over who's responsible for some $400 million in damages. A trial on that case is set to begin in February.

Permission was first granted for demolition last year but later revoked when the judge questioned the methodology of structural testing on the tower.

The empty Harmon Hotel building stands at the entrance of the 67-acre master-planned CityCenter development, which features several hotels, condominiums, a casino and an upscale shopping and restaurant complex.

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