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Vegas CityCenter to Consider Further Testing to Prove Construction Defects

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In Minnesota and all around the country, there are issues with both small and large construction projects, which an compromise the integrity of a building and jeopardize the safety of all who inhabit the structure.

In Las Vegas, CityCenter executives may be conducting more destructive inspections of the Harmon Hotel tower, which resides on the Vegas Strip. A court ruling was handed down in July 2012 after it was found that the CityCenter could not tell the court that destructive testing at nearly 400 locations within the building proves that there are over 1,400 defects in the building due to the testing not being random enough.

Due to the alleged construction and design defects, there are unpaid invoices to the construction company for the unfinished building that touts a price tag of $275 million.

The CityCenter may appeal the ruling or may seek permission from the court to conduct more destructive testing to strengthen its case.

Destructive testing can involve using a jackhammer on the concrete to determine whether or not reinforcing steel was installed where it was supposed to be installed and whether it was installed properly.

The unused Harmon is planned to be demolished, but it is not clear as to whether or not this planned demolition will move forward in the near future because of the current litigation. However, the court did rule that the CityCenter can move forward with implosion of the building. CityCenter has stated that the building is such a safety hazard that it could crumble in an earthquake. Perini Building Co., the contractor that constructed the building, states that it is safe and can be repaired.

It is possible that the contractors will appeal the order to demolish. In the meantime, CityCenter has to create a demolition plan that Clark County must approve, which means the additional destructive testing that CityCenter wants could be a part of that plan.

A CityCenter official stated that every time concrete has been chipped away within the building, a structural defect has been revealed. There is confidence that ample evidence can be produced to prove that Perini built an unsafe building. Pacific Coast Steel had rendered the building unsafe and a major financial liability to CityCenter. CityCenter has stated that since they have approval by the court to demolish, they will move forward with it.

Half owner and manager of the CityCenter compled, MGM Resorts International, stopped construction of the tower in 2010 because of the defects that were found. The defects have been blamed for construction and design issues. Litigation then began between the parties, with Perini stating that CityCenter owes them up to $240 million for the work they completed. CityCenter states they owe them nothing because they did not build a hotel that could be used.

Perini states that the 26-story Harmon Tower can be repaired for $21 million. CityCenter, on the other hand, says it would cost almost $200 million to perform the repairs and that the repairs would take 10 months or more to complete.

CityCenter states that the delays with the court proceedings are harming the CityCenter’s finances. Even if the building was fixed, the company would spend another $30 million overcoming the fact that there is a stigma attached to a repaired building. Perini feels that it will prevail in the end, as the company contends that demolition is simply a business strategy by MGM Resorts to not complete the structure due to the recession.

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