Friday, Aug. 29, 2008 | 6:41 p.m.
When MGM Mirage took longer than expected to secure bank financing for CityCenter, many saw their doubts that the $9.2 billion city-within-a-city would be finished on time, if at all, confirmed.
That was an overreaction, though perhaps the doubters can be forgiven based on the fact that CityCenter is the most expensive privately financed project in U.S. history and is taking shape during one of its deepest downturns.
No wonder that executives have taken pains to explain that CityCenter isn't like other projects that can't get financing these days.
CityCenter is still on schedule for a December 2009 opening and will be able to secure $3 billion in bank financing -- the final piece of the puzzle -- by Sept. 30, executives say. MGM Mirage so far has commitments for more than $2 billion of that package, MGM Mirage Chief Financial Officer Dan D'Arrigo said today.
That's months later than expected but at lower interest rates (in the range of 7 to 8 percent) than expected, he said.
Nearly 70 percent of CityCenter's cost is funded by an equity split between MGM Mirage and joint venture partner Dubai World, which owns half of CityCenter.