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Howard Stutz

CityCenter unveils model units at Mandarin Oriental

16 April 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The residential units atop CityCenter's Mandarin Oriental fall into a simple price category: If you have to ask "how much?" then you can't afford it.

CityCenter officials Wednesday showed off two stylishly designed model units on the Mandarin Oriental's 24th floor. The units were completed in an effort to help close sales on the building's 227 residences.

As of this week, sales have closed on 49 CityCenter condominiums, including 24 units inside the Mandarin Oriental, statistics compiled by Union Gaming Group show. The combined sales price of the Mandarin units is $44.8 million, which translates into more than $1,000 per square foot.

At Vdara, sales have closed on 25 condo-hotel units totaling $12.1 million.

On Wednesday, CityCenter developer MGM Mirage said it would take a noncash impairment charge of $171 million in the first quarter related to the development's residential component. CityCenter, MGM Mirage said, benefited during the quarter from $24 million in revenues related to forfeited residential deposits.

The Mandarin Oriental's one-, two- and three-bedroom residences start at 1,110 square feet and are as large as 4,000 square feet on the building's upper floors. Prices start at around $1 million and increase based on the unit's size and location.

The 185 one- and two-bedroom residences occupy floors 24-40 with 11 units per floor. The 42 penthouses command floors 40 through 47.

The primary sales pitches, said CityCenter Residential Division Executive Vice President Tony Dennis, are the Strip and mountain views offered by the units and the Mandarin Oriental's location at the entrance to the $8.5 billion CityCenter.

"This truly is a building with a location like no other," Dennis said.

Before the sales closings, which began in January, Dennis said about 90 percent of Mandarin's condominiums had been reserved by buyers putting up earnest money. He expects some of the sales to fall through because of the economy.

Hence, the reason for the model units.

Dennis displayed two 2,829-square-foot, two-bedroom units, one on the 40th floor that was unfurnished, and a similar furnished model on the 24th floor. The units cost about $2.2 million.

Buyers, when their sales close, receive an unfurnished residence with one of three different finishing packages designed by Kay Lang + Associates.

An 1,100-square-foot furnished one-bedroom condominium was also unveiled. Dennis said the unit's price was about $1.1 million.

The Review-Journal was also given a peek at an unfinished three-bedroom, three-bathroom, 3,800-square-foot corner penthouse unit on the building's 41st floor. The residence offered floor-to-ceiling views to the west, across CityCenter to the Bellagio fountains, and to the east.

A similar unit on Mandarin's 45th floor sold at the end of March for $6.966 million to a woman from Alabama, according to Clark County public records.

Union Gaming Group Principal Grant Govertsen, who has been following the Strip's high-rise residential market, said he expects the upper-floor penthouse units to sell more quickly than the one- and two-bedroom condominiums simply because of economics.

"If you can afford multiple residences, including a $7 million house, you are probably paying cash," Govertsen said.

He said the time frame for closing the condominium sales is much longer than MGM Mirage had anticipated.

Still, any sales closing at CityCenter, which has a total 2,400 residential units, is welcome news to investors.

"Even though only a fraction have closed, it represents an upside to investor expectations," Govertsen said.
CityCenter unveils model units at Mandarin Oriental is republished from