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article imageCity Center set to open in Las Vegas Dec. 1 Special

By Jay David Murphy     Nov 29, 2009 in Business
It's been five years in the making from conception to completion and now the $9 billion Las Vegas Strip project City Center is set to open starting December 1 with the building opening following through December 24.
The massive project known as City Center by MGM and Dubai World is set to begin a month long series of openings of buildings.
The father of City Center is considered to be Jim Murren who is featured in Sunday's Las Vegas Sun. In the article he is quoted as being the most proud of a park bench sitting in the shadows of Aria. “If you sit here and look at the sculpture and up at the Aria tower and see how it shimmers in the sunlight, you will think you’ve been transported to a different place,” Murren says. “It’s like nothing I have seen before.” The sculpture he refers to is that of "Maya Lin’s “Silver River,” a 3,700-pound, 87-foot rendition of the Colorado River’s winding, graceful journey through the Southwest."
In this latest article Murren is quoted as believing that the City Center will fill in the missing components that a true urban center provide. Murren is a transplanted New Yorker.
But City Center came a cost higher than the dollars involved; Las Vegas Sun reporter Alexandra Berzon won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on City Center's construction deaths and her and her editors believe that the articles put an end to the deaths of during construction which totaled 12.
Digital Journal's Jay David Murphy, during the height of construction, spoke to a top Union boss who asked not to be identified about the deaths. He said that "in the original construction specs for insurance they were estimating that there would be six construction related deaths."
Looking north Down Las Vegas Boulevard this giant poster on the side of one of the shop at Crystals ...
Looking north Down Las Vegas Boulevard this giant poster on the side of one of the shop at Crystals the new 500,000 square foot shopping center part of City Center.
Other problems arose during City Centers construction, like the Harmon Tower which had to stop and leave off it planned total height because it was discovered that its structure was 5 percent off and would essentially fall over if it was completed to its original spec.
The nearly completed Harmon Tower part of City Center.
The nearly completed Harmon Tower part of City Center.
There were many construction defects as inspectors went through and over the last 12 months of construction new contractors and workers were hired to repair and replace those problem areas which were blamed on workers who were non-US residents and unfamiliar with US codes.
This is the back side of City Center facing the freeway.
This is the back side of City Center facing the freeway.
It is almost a miracle that the project even got finished in the current economic crisis. Halfway through the project Dubai World saved the project with $3.5 billion and is now a major owner of the property. But Dubai World on Thanksgiving day shocked world financial markets with it debt non-payment announcement and word of that has not as of yet translated to an effect on City Center. Future announcements are expected.
Despite all the problems, City Center will be opening to a great deal of pomp and circumstance starting on December one.
Friday night Digital Journal's Jay David Murphy was able to walk through part of the walkway system that was opened to allow pedestrian traffic past the nearly completed project. About three weeks ago the lights came on for the first time and since then every night a new spectacle of light has been turned on and tested and begun its history as part of the Las Vegas landscape.
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