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LAS VEGAS-As an enticement for previously-committed buyers to close on their units at CityCenter, MGM Mirage and Dubai World said Monday it would offer a 30% discount at closing. The price reduction is meant to make it easier for buyers to secure financing for their purchases or, as CityCenter president Bobby Baldwin put it, “to provide them greater flexibility in closing on their residences.”

Sales revenue from the planned 2,700 condos was initially expected to total $2.7 billion. Then a construction mistake killed plans for a few hundred condos that were planned above the Harmon Hotel, the only piece of the development that will not open this year as previously planned, and the recession has left a little less than half of the units unsold. Of some $1.6 billion in contracted condominium sales MGM Mirage sources told GlobeSt.com earlier this year that it expects to close on at least 75% of that total. As of mid-year, some buyers who agreed to purchase units at the top of the market are trying to void their purchase contracts, arguing that valuations have dropped below their contracted purchase prices.

Last month, MGM said it was evaluating how much value it has lost with regard to its 50% stake in the $9-billion, 18-million-square-foot development between the Monte Carlo and Bellagio resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. In addition to charges for lost market value in the commercial portion of the development the company said it expects to incur a charge for lost market value in the project’s 2,400 condo and condo-hotel units, which are housed within the Mandarin Oriental, Veer and Vdara-branded towers. “It is reasonably likely that the fair value less cost to sell of the residential inventory at completion will be below the inventory’s carrying value,” the company said.

Tony Dennis, EVP of CityCenter’s residential division says closings are scheduled to begin in January 2010 with buyers of The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas. Veer Towers closings are projected to begin in February 2010 and Vdara Condo Hotel closings in March 2010 “We are currently scheduling one-on-one meetings with our buyers,” Dennis says. “We are committed to making the closing process as efficient and seamless as possible.”

CityCenter includes 6,400 hotel, condo and condo-hotel rooms in several high-rise towers designed by famous architects. The development has been under construction since 2005. The project is on track to open in stages between October 1 and December 16, when the 4,000-room Aria hotel-casino is scheduled to open. The 500,000-square-foot Crystals retail component will be between 65% and 70% booked by the time it opens on December 3, the company told GlobeSt.com in July. MGM Mirage is expecting retailers to generate sales of approximately $1,300 per square foot, with MGM Mirage retaining approximately 10% of the total.

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