Harmongeddon: Judge Declares Harmon Clear For Demolition
In the case of MGM/CityCenter Land LLC vs Perini, Las Vegas District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez approved MGM's petition to tear down the defective tower. The judge cited a possible earthquake as reasoning why the building should come down.
But wait, didn't a judge declare this exact same thing a year ago?
It's been almost 20 years since the magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake, collapsed a half dozen bridges in Los Angeles, leveled buildings and sent gamblers scurrying from the tables to seek cover 280 miles away in Las Vegas. One can never know when an earthquake is going to happen... could be next year, could be an hour from now, could be in 2072. If Harmon is so unsafe, shouldn't Crystals and parts of Cosmopolitan also be closed immediately?
Time frame for demolition is 9-12 months. Generally witty MGM PR guy and one time Vegas Gang VPP guest Gordon Absher emailed a statement around to everybody except VT (via LA Times).
A previous plan submitted at the county's request indicated implosion would be the safest, most efficient method [of demolition]," Absher said in an email. However, based on further structural tests conducted this year, that plan is now being reevaluated.
"We are asking experts to analyze the data and give us their recommendations," he said.
It is a shame that we'll never see the true vision of Lord Foster of Thames Bank (+ Partners) Harmon - his first building in North America - beyond the set of Harmon Hotel interior photos we've leaked.
I wonder if we'll ever know the real story behind the botched CityCenter project - from Dan Lee surreptitiously purchasing the land from unknowing land owners for Steve Wynn's Mirage Resorts, the mixed use mistake in conception, creative financing via the Dubai World partnership, the rushed (and botched) construction process, the cover ups, the initial rejection by guests, multiple rounds of legionnaire's disease, the near closure of the hotel, failure of the real estate play, shake up in management and eventual righting of the ship by tossing problems overboard - the telling of the CityCenter story would make for a truly incredible book.
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