Chinese Tower May Add Floors to Be Tallest After Burj Khalifa

Shanghai Greenland Group said it may add more floors to China’s second-tallest building under construction to turn it into the highest in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The closely held company set up in 1992 may increase the height of Greenland Center in the central city of Wuhan to 636 meters (2,086-foot) from 606 meters, said Wang Xiaodong, Greenland’s Shanghai-based spokesman. That will exceed the 632-meter Shanghai Tower also scheduled to be completed in 2014.

China is home to 53 percent of all skyscrapers being built around the world, up from 44 percent a year earlier, Barclays Capital Research said. The country will increase the number of skyscrapers to 141, from the current 75, by 2017, according to the bank’s annual Skyscraper Index report in January.

“The local government in Wuhan actually has a stronger intention to revise the plan, but it’s not easy for a skyscraper like this,” Wang said in a phone interview today, adding that the plan may be finalized by the end of the year.

The Greenland Center broke ground on the project in December 2010 with a planned investment of 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion). The development will include luxury hotels, apartments, and a conference center, it said. The building is on track to be completed in two years, Wang said, declining to say how much costs will be added with any revision to the plans.

China Daily reported the news earlier today.

‘Fierce Competition’

The building in Wuhan, about 900 kilometers (559 miles) west of Shanghai, will be taller than the 492-meter World Financial Center in Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district, now the tallest tower in China. The Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest at 828 meters, based on Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s data.

“There has always been fierce competition among cities in China to attract greater investment and record faster economic growth,” James MacDonald, head of China research for Savills Property Services (Shanghai) Co., said in an e-mail. “While it’s hard to compete with Shanghai in terms of economic might or attraction for foreign investment, it’s a lot easier to compete in individual construction projects.”

Shanghai-based, government-controlled Greenland, which has properties in 43 Chinese cities across 22 provinces, has built skyscrapers in the country’s less affluent second- and third-tier cities. That includes a 450-meter tower in the eastern city of Nanjing and a 518-meter Greenland Center under construction in the northeastern city of Dalian.

The new skyscrapers will help local governments in China draw publicity and status, especially for cities in central or western parts of the country, MacDonald said.

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