On Friday, August 23, Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez approved CityCenter's motion to raze the 26-story, $275 million Harmon Hotel tower following a fourth round of destructive testing. Officials will immediately start planning for the demolition, which could happen within a year, despite a pending February 2014 lawsuit filed by Tutor Perini Building Corp. over $191 million in disputed unpaid bills.
Harmon Hotel was part of the $8.5-billion, 18-million-sq-ft CityCenter complex, which opened in Dec. 2009 on the Las Vegas Strip.
In the past, Tutor Perini has blamed problems in the building on a faulty design. The firm has also fought to prevent demolition until thier case can be heard, and has claimed owner MGM wants to destroy evidence prior to trial and thereby prejudice the jury.
London-based Foster+Partners was the design architect, with New York-based AAI Architects Inc. as architect-of-record and the Las Vegas office of Halcrow Yolles as structural engineer.
In December 2012 Gonzalez reversed a prior order that approved demolition in order to allow time for an additional round of testing.
When problems with construction began to be evident in late 2008 and early 2009, the building’s original design was lopped in half in January 2009. As a result, more than 207 high-end residences — of which less than half had sold — were cut from the project, according to reports.
Experts have also claimed that the building is structutraly unsound and vulnerable to seismic activity, attributed to improperly installed reinforcing steel inside link beams on 15 floors.
Tony Illia contributed extensively to this article.