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Largest Privately Financed Construction Project to Rise in Las Vegas

Images courtesy of MGM Mirage Inc.

MGM Mirage has recruited a who's-who list of celebrity architects for its mammoth Project CityCenter development on the Las Vegas Strip. The 18-million-square-foot complex of hotels, shops, casinos, and residences will be roughly the size of Rockefeller Center, New York's SoHo, and Times Square combined.

The $5-billion, 66-acre development is the largest privately financed construction project in U.S. history, according to MGM Mirage officials. Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, the firm responsible for Lower Manhattan's Battery Park City, is the master-plan architect, and Gensler is the executive architect.

The development centers on a soaring 4,000-room hotel-casino designed by Cesar Pelli, FAIA, which consists of two 60-story-tall crescent-shaped glass towers connected by a low-rise. Rafael Viñoly, FAIA, has created a curved 400-foot-high, 1,000-unit hotel-condo building set atop of pylons, while Vancouver-based James KM Cheng's plans include a twisting 100-unit residential tower. Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, meanwhile, is designing the exterior of a 400-room, five-star Mandarin hotel with interiors from Adam Tihany. Lord Norman Foster is responsible for another 400-room hotel operated by Andrew Sasson's Light Group, creators of the Light and Caramel nightclubs now at the Bellagio hotel.

Although the project is only halfway through a 20-month design cycle, it's anticipated to make its Strip debut in November of 2009.

Tony Illia