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Minoru Mori, at 77; builder of China’s tallest building

Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press/file 2008

The 101-story Shanghai World Financial Center stands between other high-rise buildings near Huangpu River.

TOKYO - Property tycoon Minoru Mori, who was one of Japan’s most influential developers and built China’s tallest building, died Thursday of heart failure, his company said Monday. He was 77 and had been receiving medical treatment for some time.

Mr. Mori, from Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto, cofounded Mori Building with his father, Taikichiro, in 1959 and became president in 1993, when Japan’s land prices were surging amid its “bubble’’ economy.

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With his visions of a “vertical garden city,’’ Mr. Mori transformed Tokyo’s landscape with mammoth mixed-use development projects such as Roppongi Hills, Ark Hills, and Atago Green Hills. Many buildings around the city bear his family name.

Other Asian cities also appealed to him.


Minoru Mori transformed the landscape of Tokyo with mammoth mixed-use development projects.

His 101-story Shanghai World Financial Center, which opened in 2008, has the world’s highest rooftop at 1,614 feet and 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, although space remains tight for top-grade office space, the quality that Mr. Mori wanted to offer.

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