The Skyscrapers Curse Should be Complete Now — Saudi's To Build a 1,000m Skyscraper

I have been posting regularly about the Skyscrapers Curse which I find is a very valid and interesting metric of the social mood and irrational exuberance of the crowd over the past century.

So what does the Skyscrapers Curse tells us about the economy when you see all the various "new riches" compete to build the tallest ever building? In remote place away from megalopolises? Hundreds of skyscrapers are being built in Asia and the Middle East, but certainly those in the Middle East are the more worrisome as it doesn't reflect any need due to population density for example.

A few weeks after Koweit, here comes Saudi Arabia who just announced they will build the tallest building in the world, reaching 1,000 m high.

I do not expect any other skyscraper trying to beat this one for this inflation/deflation cycle... Meaning that we have already probably reached peaked exuberance for this generation, and probably the next one (people from 15 to 50 years old today).
1,000 meters, or 3,280 feet. That’s two-thirds of a mile.

When the Kingdom Tower is built on the outskirts of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia it will not only become the tallest building in the world, it will shatter the old record. The current record-holder, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, stands at 828 meters. At least 173 meters (568 feet) taller, sight-seers on the tower’s observation deck could see how long it takes for their spit to hit the top of Burj Khalifa (this is, if they weren’t hundreds of miles apart). The tallest building in the US, Chicago’s Willis Tower, is 442 meters tall, or 527 meters if you count the antenna. The One World Trade Center tower currently being built in New York will climb, including antenna, to 541 meters.

Not merely a mine-is-bigger-than-yours jibe to their neighbors, the tower is a part of an economic initiative to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s economy by diversifying away from crude oil. For those with the means, the Kingdom Tower will be the poshest of the posh. It features a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, luxury condominiums, top class office space and the world’s highest observatory. Total construction area is 530,000 square meters (5.7 million square feet). Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, a Chicago-based architecture firm, won the contract for the Kingdom Tower earlier this week. Smith already has experience with designing tallest buildings in the world. He designed Burj Khalifa while at another architecture firm. The final details of Kingdom Tower’s design are yet to be worked out, but construction is to begin immediately. The total cost for the tower is approximately $1.2 billion.

Now that’s some prime real estate.

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