MGM Mirage unveils plans for condominium developments

MGM Mirage unveiled last week plans for residences at the USD 7 billion Project CityCenter, saying the 26,000 hectare site will include four condominium developments encompassing five high-rise towers.

Units will have a price range from USD 500,000 to USD 8 million. A preview center is open at Bellagio, where potential owners can sign an interest list. Sales for all 2,700 residences will begin in January, when MGM Mirage opens CityCenter’s 2,700 sqm sales office on the Strip, which will include model units.

Tony Dennis, executive vice president of CityCenter’s residential division. „Our goal is to help guide a prospective buyer to the condominium that is the right home of their choice.“ The residential choices will include one condominium-only project, two condominium developments that will be built on top of boutique hotels, and one free-standing condomimum-hotel.

Construction on Project CityCenter is under way on the Strip south of the Bellagio. The development’s most prominent feature, a 60-story, 4,000-room hotel-casino designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, is beginning to take shape. It will also include retail, entertainment, restaurants and other amenities in an urban village setting. Construction of the initial residential tower is expected to begin in November.

Gaming analysts have been skeptical of the CityCenter condominiums’ chance of success because of the large number of residential projects announced or that are under construction along the Strip corridor. However, the involvement of MGM Mirage minimizes some of the concern.

Las Vegas-based gaming analyst Bill Lerner of Deutsche Bank said residential sales are important to MGM Mirage’s overall financial picture for CityCenter. „I feel pretty good about (MGM Mirage) being able to get the return they are looking for,“ Lerner said. „My sense is the location and the association with the MGM Mirage portfolio gives them better sense relative to anyone else in the market.“

Dennis said an average of 500 couples a day are visiting the preview center. A second preview center is slated to open at The Mirage. The initial construction will begin on Vdara, a 1,543-unit condominium-hotel with units. Vdara will be built between Bellagio and the CityCenter hotel-casino.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel will have approximately 227 condominium units above the 400-room hotel tower, with penthouses coming with the highest price in Project CityCenter at USD 8 million. A second boutique hotel, The Harmon, will be operated by MGM Mirage. It will have 228 condominiums above its 400 hotel rooms.

In both hotels, condominium owners will have use of the hotels’ amenities. The Veer Towers, twin 37-story condominium high-rises, will be CityCenter’s only pure residential-only development with units.