Never completed, never occupied…

Las Vegas’ Harmon Tower is coming down at long last.

MGM Resorts International has begun the year-long process of demolishing the only portion of the $8.5 billion, 67-acre CityCenter development that was never completed.

The Harmon Hotel was once considered the front door to the Strip complex of five high-rise buildings.

Instead, work halted on the Harmon after construction defects were found in 2008. Eventually the building was deemed structurally unsound.

The planned 47-story tower, which was stopped at 26 floors, became the centerpiece of a massive legal dispute between MGM Resorts and CityCenter partner Dubai World with Tudor Perini Building Co., the general contractor on the complex, over responsibility for $400 million in damage claims associated with the Harmon.

Instead of blowing the building up in grand fashion, contractors hired by MGM Resorts are now removing scrap metal and other materials from the building, along with taking off the blue-tinged glass that has covered the structure for the last five years.

The process also includes installing pedestrian protection systems outside the structure above adjacent sidewalks and walkways.

In the next few weeks, a construction crane will be erected to remove the building piece by piece.

“The pedestrian bridges will remain open to allow the free flow of traffic through the process,” said MGM Resorts spokesman Gordon Absher. “The street-level sidewalk in front of Harmon has been closed.”

Total cost of the demolition, being paid for by CityCenter, is expected to be $11.5 million.

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