Minoru Mori: Tycoon who built China's tallest building


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The Independent Online

The property tycoon Minoru Mori, who was one of Japan's most influential developers and built China's tallest building, died on 8 March of heart failure at the age of 77. Mori, from Kyoto, co-founded Mori Building with his father Taikichiro in 1959 and became president in 1993, when Japan's land prices were surging amid its bubble economy. With his visions of a vertical garden city, he transformed Tokyo's landscape, with huge mixed-use development projects such as Roppongi Hills, Ark Hills and Atago Green Hills. Many buildings around the city bear his family name.

His 101-story Shanghai World Financial Centre, which opened in 2008, has the world's highest rooftop at 1,614 feet and the highest observation deck. He acquired the site in 1994 and piling work began three years later just as the Asian financial crisis hit. The land sat idle for six years. The project finally hit the market just as the Chinese property market began cooling after years of growth.