Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Harmon Tower - 8 News NOW

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Harmon Tower

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LAS VEGAS - The Nevada Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday about what will happen to the Harmon Tower at CityCenter. The justices could eventually decide if and when the 26-story abandoned tower could be demolished.

It's a Las Vegas real estate drama that has been unfolding for several years. The tower was supposed to be a key component of CityCenter, but it was never completed and never opened.

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A consultant found the structure had construction defects and suggested it could crumble during an earthquake. MGM Resorts, which owns CityCenter, decided to demolish the tower rather than finish it.

The contractor, Perini Construction, wants to leave it in tact to prove the company completed the work correctly and that the building design was flawed. MGM and Perini are also in the middle of a $500 million civil lawsuit.

UNLV Director of Gaming Research David Schwartz says it makes sense economically for MGM executives to want to tear down the Harmon.

"I think if you put something in there that does interact with the pedestrian flow a little more, energize the area, pull people back there, because people might not want to walk through Crystal to get back there," he said.

MGM Resorts said in a statement, "The core issue of this case is simple: How much should Perini pay for its failure to adequately construct the Harmon, which is an unusable structure that should have been an iconic part of CityCenter? CityCenter's testing at the Harmon clearly exposed the widespread construction defects in the building. We believe that the quality and quantity of our testing meets Nevada evidentiary standards and are eager to share those results with a jury."

Perini representatives insist they still want to repair the building and fight with MGM later over who is responsible for the $21 million repair costs.

Perini estimates it would cost more than $30 million to demolish the tower.

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