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December 22, 2014

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CityCenter’s leaning Veer Towers officially open

Image

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

The soaring, 80-foot tall lobby area of Veer Towers frames the Mandarin Oriental at CityCenter.

CityCenter's Veer Towers

First look inside Veer Towers at CityCenter.

An Inside Look at Veer Towers

Veer Towers, left, and the Mandarin Oriental are seen at CityCenter. Launch slideshow »

The last of the residential buildings at CityCenter officially opened Thursday, with the two leaning Veer Towers welcoming its first residents and opening model units.

The two 37-floor towers include a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units and penthouses.

The units range in size from 500 to 3,300 square feet and cost between $348,000 and about $2 million, depending on the size and features of the unit.

About six of the 100 people who have closed on units have already moved in, said Tony Dennis, the executive vice president of CityCenter’s residential division.

Of the 600 units in the two towers, about 440 units were sold, Dennis said, but about 40 buyers have backed out of their contracts.

MGM Resorts International, the managing partner of CityCenter, began closing on contracts for the Veer units last month and expects the first round to be done by mid-October, Dennis said.

The entire CityCenter complex should have 300 residences closed in the next week, with Mandarin Oriental currently closed on 47 units and Vdara closed on about 150, Dennis said.

Dennis said about a third of the buyers so far are from Nevada, with another third from California and the remaining third from Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia.

About 90 percent of the buyers were already affiliated in some way with MGM Resorts, Dennis said.

“These are our customers. We know who they are, and that’s why we’re outperforming the market on the closings,” he said.

“They know while they are paying a premium, they’re getting value and value that’s unique and special to them,” he said. “It’s about them and their needs, and we service them. And so they’re prepared to pay a pretty penny for what they want.”

MGM Resorts and its partner Dubai World have also offered seller-financing to help buyers who can’t get loans other places, Dennis said.

“In a marketplace that provides almost no financing for new homes, we are providing that vehicle to our buyers,” he said. “It’s really helped a lot of people, but by and large, most of our buyers are paying cash, even in this economy.”

The market also appears to be turning around, Dennis said.

Earlier this year, most of the buyers were interested in smaller units, but now the higher-end buyers are coming forward, including four currently in negotiations to buy penthouses that range from $1.8 million to $3 million.

Veer appeals to affluent, young people who want to live in a hip, urban environment with easy access to the Strip and other amenities, Dennis said.

“CityCenter is an innovative, inventive, future-minded place, and Veer is sort the example of that in its fullest form,” Dennis said.

Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido, one of the designers who worked with architect Helmut Jahn on the buildings, said the dynamic design is a move to making Las Vegas a more urban city.

“The most significant thing was the challenge of the background being in Las Vegas,” he said.

“Almost every architect that you talk to, nobody wants to do anything here because it’s not a very serious town,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to introduce a piece of truly urban fabric to a city that doesn’t have one yet.”

The buildings are expected to use at least 30 percent less energy than a typical building and are LEED Gold certified, despite being a “glass box in the desert,” Gonzalez-Pulido said.

The building uses external fins on the windows and glass that reflects the light, Gonzalez-Pulido said.

The two buildings are designed to interact with one another, with each leaning five degrees in opposite directions.

“By making these buildings parallelograms and leaning them, they became, obviously, more interesting,” he said.

“We’re very proud of these towers because we were against everything here, contractors were whining all the time about how expensive these buildings would be and how difficult, how challenging (it is) to build a leaning tower,” he said. “In the end, the buildings weren’t more expensive than a straight building would be.”

The building is unique not just compared to other structures in Las Vegas, but compared to buildings nationwide, he said.

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