Companies Battle in Court Over Harmon Tower - 8 News NOW

Companies Battle in Court Over Harmon Tower

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LAS VEGAS -- It has become the eyesore of CityCenter, standing unfinished and defective. Inspectors say the $279 million Harmon Tower could collapse in an earthquake, so MGM Resorts and its general contractor, Perini Construction, are in court arguing about whether to raze or repair it.

MGM wants to implode Harmon to save money, while Perini says they can fix it, at least temporarily. Still, the Harmon Tower sits empty -- a shell of the 47-story tower it was supposed to be.

In court Tuesday, CityCenter attorneys showed pictures of broken concrete and steel rebar sticking out. That's only what they've discovered. MGM officials say there could be even more defects they haven't found.

But Perini's attorneys assert it can be fixed.

"You'll hear testimony today that Harmon Tower is safe, can be repaired and made code compliant," said attorney George Ogilvie.

Perini's attorney showed a November 22 letter from Clark County building official Ron Lynn to CityCenter, giving them the option to fix or demolish the 26-story building.

Demolishing the tower would not be like the implosions of past casinos. Harmon sits right on Las Vegas Boulevard and is surrounded by glass-enclosed buildings, like the Cosmopolitan.

"I cannot clear space. That would require closing Las Vegas Boulevard, which I do not have the authority to do," said Lynn.

Perini's lawyer says Harmon could be temporarily fixed in six to eight weeks at a cost of $2 million. Perini's CEO expected to take the stand tomorrow.

The trial to determine who is responsible for construction defects starts next February.

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