SKY HIGH

Mexico 2016 | CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATE | FOCUS: MEXICO CITY’S CHANGING SKYLINE

Growing wealth has seen the rise of skyscrapers and other iconic buildings in the capital.

One of the world's iconic “megacities," Mexico City's growth has long been characterized by low-rise urban sprawl, which over the past century has filled the Mexico Valley and spread up into the surrounding hills and mountains. However, the past decade has seen a transformation in the city's style of development, which many have referred to as the skyscraper boom. This boom has been most notable in the area along Paseo de la Reforma, a traditionally important business district.

Mexico built its first skyscrapers in the 1940s and 1950s in its capital's central business district, which at that time was based in the historic center and the area along Paseo de la Reforma. However, as property prices in the city center increased in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, the city rapidly expanded horizontally rather than vertically, and many companies seeking more space moved their headquarters further west into newer areas of the city such as Polanco and Lomas. In the 1990s, the process repeated itself as companies once again left these expensive areas for newly developed Santa Fe, built on a reclaimed landfill site to the southwest of the city.
The past decade, however, has seen a dramatic shift in this pattern, with many corporate headquarters relocating back to the area around Paseo de la Reforma, and a new boom in vertical development to meet increasing demand in the area. Mexico City's iconic Torre Latinoamerica famously held the title of tallest building in Latin America for nearly 20 years after it was built in 1956. This year saw the highly publicized inauguration of BBVA's new 225m-high Latin America headquarters Torre BBVA Bancomer on Paseo de la Reforma with fireworks and the attendance of President Peña Nieto and Mayor Mancera. It was the tallest building in Mexico from July 2015 until May 2016, when it was surpassed by Torre Reforma, at over 240m.