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SHANGHAI, CHINA-Developer Mori Building Co. Ltd and architecture firm/partner Kohn Pedersen Fox Assoc. PC are opening the highest publicly accessible space in the world. The Sky Walk in the 101-story Shanghai World Financial Center will range from the 94th floor to the 101st floor.

The seven-level public observatory will join retail space on floors one through five, office space on floors seven through 77 and a hotel on floor 79 that pushes through to floor 93 in the center, which reportedly cost more than $1 billion USD to build. The hotel, the Park Hyatt Shanghai, is the world’s highest hotel and boasts 174 rooms. The price of the rooms and office or retail are undisclosed.

The tower was begun in 1997 when they laid the foundation for a smaller, 97-story version–at the time, to be the tallest structure in the world, eclipsing the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. After the foundations were laid, construction was halted when the Japanese Mori Building Corp. had a “fund shortage caused by the Asian financial crisis,” according to a release. The Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan was built in the interim and measures 508 meters with its spire, so that when the construction renewed in 2003, the building was increased to its current height–490 meters–but could not be made larger, as the foundation was already in place for a smaller building. The under-construction Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is the purportedly tallest man-made structure in the world, even unfinished.

The observatory area will open to the public on Aug. 30, 2008 and the hotel will begin taking guests on Sept. 1, 2008. The room rates begin at $3,600. Mori Building Co. Ltd did not disclose retail or office rental rates to GlobeSt.com inquiries.

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