China’s Tallest Building Reaches Highest Point

Shanghai Tower, which will be China’s tallest building when completed in 2015, reached the highest point of its main structure, adding to the country’s construction boom even as the economy slows.

A topping-out ceremony today marked the placement of the final beam on the main structure of the 632-meter (2,074-foot) project in the city’s Pudong business hub. Shanghai Tower is set to be the tallest building in East Asia, and second in the world to the 828-meter Burj Khalifa in Dubai, according to the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The 125-story complex will include offices, a luxury hotel and retail space, according to the developer, Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co.

“We could have built taller technically, but we didn’t aim for physical height when we planned the building,” Gu Jianping, president of Shanghai Tower Construction & Development, said at a press conference in Shanghai yesterday. The new tower integrates with two nearby skyscrapers: Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center, he said. Shanghai World Financial Center, also in Pudong, is currently China’s tallest building at 492 meters.

Competition to build the country’s skyline higher is continuing even as China’s economy slowed for a second quarter and Premier Li Keqiang reins in a credit boom. China completed 22 buildings higher than 200 meters last year, accounting for 33 percent of the global number, more than any other country, according to the council on tall buildings.

Vacancy Rate

Shanghai Tower will include a five-star hotel with the lobby on the 101th floor, at 470 meters, through a venture with Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Group Co.

The vacancy rate for prime offices in Shanghai rose to 6.2 percent in the second quarter, compared with 4.3 percent at the same time last year, the eighth lowest among 29 cities tracked by Cushman & Wakefield Inc. in the Asia-Pacific region. Office rents fell 4.5 percent from a year ago to $6.82 per square foot a month, it said.

About 2 million square meters of prime office space will be added to the Shanghai 2015 if projects are completed on schedule, according to CBRE Group Inc.

“Huge supply could intensify competition on the landlord’s side and hence place pressure on office leasing and rents,” said Sam Xie, a Shanghai-based analyst at CBRE, wrote in an e-mailed response to queries.

Shanghai Tower will start marketing to attract tenants around the world after today’s event, according to Gu.

The 660-meter Ping An Finance Center in the southern city of Shenzhen will be China’s tallest building when it is completed in 2016, according to the council’s database.

— With assistance by Bonnie Cao

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