all about Project CityCenter: MGM Mirage reveals details today
reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal
VEGAS, Nevada - MGM Mirage holds 832 acres of land on the
Strip, but the company's focus these days centers on 66 acres
it owns between Bellagio and the Monte Carlo.
MGM Mirage executives will unveil details on the progress of
Project CityCenter, a $5 billion urban core that MGM Mirage
Chairman Terry Lanni said is the largest and most expensive
private development under way in the United States. CityCenter
will cover an area bigger than New York's Rockefeller Center,
Times Square and SoHo combined, Lanni said.
the drawing board are a 60-story, 4,000-room hotel-casino and
500,000 square feet of retail space. In addition, two nongaming
boutique hotels, including a five-star property, will have 400
rooms each. The development is also slated to include two 500-unit
condominium high-rises in a rental pool similar to the company's
Residences at MGM Grand. Both boutique hotels will have about
200 condominiums each, and 140 condominiums will be incorporated
into the retail district as lofts, brownstones or other attached-housing
Mirage, which is about halfway through a 20-month design process
for CityCenter, has not established designs, prices or a beginning
sales date for the condominiums.
Mirage will also announce this morning the roster of architects
working on CityCenter. They include Connecticut-based Cesar
Pelli and Associates, which designed the world's tallest buildings,
Malaysia's Petronas Towers. Cesar Pelli is the lead architect
on the 4,000-room hotel-casino.
Violy Architects of New York, which designed Philadelphia's
Kimmel Center, will create plans for the condominium-hotel towers.
Pedersen Fox Associates of New York and Adam Tihany, who designed
Mandalay Bay's Aureole and The Mirage's Cravings, will design
the five-star hotel.
Norman Foster, a London designer who has won architecture's
renowned Pritzker Prize, will design the exterior of the second
Gensler is the executive architecture firm overseeing design
of CityCenter, and Perini Corp. will be the general contractor.
Light Group, which operates the Light nightclub and Fix restaurant
at Bellagio, will operate one of the boutique hotels. Lanni
said MGM Mirage will soon announce the five-star hotel operator.
The company is also working with several architects on possible
designs for the retail space.
said CityCenter is a necessary new direction for development
on the Strip.
not a city in the United States that is ahead of Las Vegas in
the quality of dining, the quality of accommodations and the
quality of entertainment," Lanni said. "What doesn't
exist on the Strip is permanent residences. (CityCenter) brings
in that living component. It creates a new core, a center for
Zarnett, a gaming analyst with Deutsche Bank, said CityCenter
will redefine MGM Mirage and the Strip."This is going to
be the center of the new vertical development of Las Vegas on
and off the Strip," Zarnett said. "Clearly, it will
be the lion's share of MGM growth over the course of the next
decade or many more years."
Rothman, a professor of history at the University of Nevada,
Las Vegas, said CityCenter could also reshape the demographics
of the Strip. While most resort destinations have more condominiums
and timeshares than hotel rooms, Las Vegas has always been a
"room destination," Rothman said. That will change
when CityCenter opens in late 2009.
has kicked off a revolution in property development here that
will give the market a reasonable share of privately owned properties,"
Rothman said. "The question becomes, Will people live in
them? I don't know if anyone knows the answer to that yet."
an important question, Rothman said, because visitors who spend
$250 a night to stay in the Strip's upscale resorts could decide
to buy a Strip vacation home instead. If buyers rent their condos
out, that could skim market share from hotels, compelling resort
operators in turn to look for new visitor markets.
Lanni said CityCenter will add amenities to an area that is
relatively under-served in sectors such as retail, thus boosting
area properties such as the Aladdin and the nascent Harmon Avenue
Corridor east of the Strip, where the Related Cos. and Starwood
Hotels and Resorts are planning big projects.
we were merely building (room) capacity without excitement or
a spectacular approach, that would really burden the marketplace,"
Lanni said. "CityCenter will be a new paradigm for decades
to come. It will give people more to do and make other nearby
properties more valuable."
said 350 of the company's 832 Strip acres are undeveloped or
underdeveloped, and that translates into the potential for additional
development. Future phases of CityCenter could involve residential
development on land behind the Monte Carlo and New York-New
York, which MGM Mirage acquired when it bought Mandalay Resort
Group in April.
most important thing to understand about (MGM's) acquisition
of Mandalay Bay is that MGM decided to hitch its star to Las
Vegas," Rothman said. "At this point, we have a homegrown
company dominant in the city and, to a large degree, in the
industry. CityCenter further commits MGM to Las Vegas. At the
same time, it further commits Las Vegas to MGM."
Wire writer Rod Smith contributed to this report.