Arthur J. Villasanta - Fourth Estate Contributor
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (4E) - Construction of the world's tallest building -- the 1,000 meter-tall Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia -- has reached the 63rd floor but is being bedeviled by the ongoing political purge in the Saudi Arabian government and financial problems among some of the project's principals.
When completed in 2020, Jeddah Tower will house 170 habitable floors, with the top habitable floor towering 668 meters above ground level. The roof of the needle-shaped skyscraper will be topped by a spire, bringing the building's total height to 1,000 meters or one kilometer.
Jeddah Tower will be the first building on Earth to attain a height of one kilometer.
Construction of the building's superstructure consisting of the concrete shell and the cladding should be completed in 2019. Saudi Arabian media reports that construction has been hampered because the main contractor (and partial owner), the Saudi Binladin Group, has been hit by financial difficulties.
In addition, several project officials and Royal Family members with a stake in the project have been targeted by the country's anti-corruption crackdown.
Jeddah Tower (formerly Kingdom Tower) was designed by Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS + GG). The chief designer of the tower, Adrian Smith, also designed Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates, currently the world's tallest building at 830 meters.
Preliminary estimates place the building's construction cost at $1.23 billion. Project developer is the Jeddah Economic Company. Jeddah Tower is the centerpiece and the first phase of the $20 billion development known as Jeddah Economic City.
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