Veering Off Course

17 Jul 2010 | 18:26

The latest residential opening of City Center has officially happened, and once the Harmon Tower opens, the project known as City Center will be 100% complete.

I went over to City Center today to play about an hour's worth of cards in the Aria Poker Room, and while I was there I decided to grab a few more photos of the newly-opened condo towers.

For those who are not aware, the Veer Towers were opened to new residents on Wednesday.  The condo towers are 37-stories tall, and units in the building clock in at prices anywhere from $350,000 to $2 million.  Unit sizes range from 500 square feet to 3,300 square feet.

Whipping out a pocket calculator, this means that the 500sqft units are going for $350,000 which is $700 per-square-foot.  To put this into some perspective, San Francisco housing averages $500/sqft and Manhattan averages roughly $1000/sqft (source: http://www.altosresearch.com/research/CA/san-francisco-real-estate-market).  This makes the Veer Towers slightly more costly than San Fran, and slightly less costly than New York.

Are these prices fair?

I guess it depends how badly you want to live on Las Vegas Boulevard.  Given the recession this town is enduring, the prices seem steep to me, but they have already been cut by 30%.  My guess it that MGM cannot go much lower without taking a loss on the units themselves.  Remember, City Center was begun during the era of peak avarice.  What seemed reasonable then seems silly now, but the company cannot take the towers back for a refund like a pair of Best Buy headphones.  They've got to see it through and do their best to sell the units to the masses.

I actually thought about going up in one of the towers, but by the time I found the front desk, I was already kind of fed up.

City Center is one of the few places on Earth I can think of that I dislike more each time I go to it.  

Seriously, I hate some places out of the gate, and other places actually grow on me, but City Center has the unusual effect of actually reverse-growing on me.  I found it somewhat tolerable during the first couple of months of its opening, and I even enjoyed certain aspects of it, but as time goes on, I just find the place more and more irritating.

I can't really put my finger on why this is, but I think the layout is starting to tweak my nipples a bit.  For instance, today, it took me the better part of a half hour to find an open entrance to the Veer Towers.  Most of the entrances to the towers were locked, and every turn I took that seemed logical met a dead end.

After trying every other route possible, I went to the underground valet, and I finally found an unlocked door.  The concierge desk for the towers is literally underground, next to a subterranean parking depot.  You know, just like a real city.

I approached the concierge and asked if I could go up and see a room, and she said "Sure, let me make a quick call so that someone can escort you up".

I asked her if I could go without the "escort", but apparently this was not possible.  I mulled over waiting for the guide, but decided against it.  The chances of me being able to be fake-friendly to someone who was being fake-friendly to me were low.  There is not enough morphine in the world to allow me to bullshit my way through the typical Vegas phoniness right now.

It's 112 degrees outside, and as I sit here typing this, it is 91 degrees in my nerd cave even though my AC has not kicked off once for the past week.  Temperatures above 77 degrees are associated with a decrease in mental production and concentration at the rate of 2%-per-degree, and I feel like everything I try to do lately sucks ass.

"We feel the same way, Rex."

Blow me, assholes.

I'm going to have to pay $500 to NV Energy for the privilege of sitting in a puddle of my own ball sweat for two months, and my inflated sales tax money is paying the salary of men who are shooting shoppers at Costco.  I have so much contempt for this place right now, that it would probably be better if I got off of the topic.  This is one of the reasons I need to take a week or two break from the town every now and then.

In any event, I got a peek at the inside of the towers, and they looked like typical City Center ultra-clean sterility.  Glass from floor to ceiling, glistening steel, the usual.

While I was walking through City Center today, I was a little surprised by how empty it was.  Granted I was there between 8-11 in the morning, but it looked like a Wednesday morning instead of a Saturday morning.  Crystals was deserted, and the casino was only marginally more populated.  The entire town is a bit slow this weekend, and thin crowds are not isolated to City Center, but I'm just not sure how many slow weekends a multi-billion dollar project can endure.

I hope the new buildings will be successful for the good of the city, but deep down, I just don't see the place filling up anytime soon.  Since City Center opened, only 300 units have been sold, and despite the claims of real estate "experts", I don't think we are on the brink of a turnaround.  My guess is that these towers are going to be financially troubled for a good, long time, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

Anyway, the Veer Towers are now open and ready for business. 

For those of you clamoring to live in a world class urban meeting place ... and really, who isn't ... your prayers have officially been answered.  If Vdara wasn't your cup of tea, you now have two new residential options to choose from in our newest, um, city.

Pick up the phone, and purchase a unit today.

Our economy depends on it.

 

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