India Plans World's Tallest Residential Tower

India is emerging as a global economic power, with a rising middle and wealthy class with money to burn, which is good news for Lodha Developers, a Mumbai company about to break ground on the world's tallest residential tower -- and, no doubt, one of the city's priciest real estate offerings.

With 117 stories, the 1,450-foot World One Tower will dwarf the Empire State Building and the Willis Tower in Chicago (née the Sears tower) in the overall skyscraper stakes, and easily rise higher than the Q1 Tower in Australia's Gold Coast City, the current reigning world champion of residential structures.

Of course, the nearly 300 apartments in the $450-million World One Tower won't come cheap. Residences will start at around $1.5 million and top out between $10 and $12 million, according to the developer. That may be chump change by New York City luxury real estate standards, but it definitely ranks high in India's big cities, where property prices have nearly doubled over the past year, Indian Realty News says.

Still, who might be in the market for such high living?
The new class of emerging wealthy Indians, of course. We often think of India as a developing country with a massive impoverished underclass. While this low-income sector still exists, the country is also one of the world's fastest-growing economies. Last year the number of Indians on the Forbes rich list rose to 49 from 24, and two were in the top ten.

These elite few might go for the swanky design by U.S. architects Pei Cobb Fred & Partners and Leslie E. Robertson Associates. The tall tower features 3 and 4-bedroom units, lavish villas with private pools and duplex mansions, all with private balconies and acres of Italian marble floors, as well as a 20,000-square foot spa and views of the city and Arabian Sea.

If you're feeling guilty about living in such a big building, soothe your green guilt: Despite its size, World One is going for LEED Gold with solar energy lighting the common areas and rainwater harvesting.

Before buying, however, consider another big building on the drawing boards -- as well as some engineering issues that might pop up. Just as Mumbai's World One was being celebrated, another developer touted plans to construct an even taller building -- called the Pentominium Tower (who dreams up these names?) in Dubai.

Dubai is already home to the world's tallest structure, the Burj Khalifa, which closed only a month after opening due to electrical problems (but has since reopened).
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