The two towers in July 2015 (Source: JD Villalobos/Wikimedia Commons)

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Colombia’s crowdfunded skyscraper becomes its tallest building

7 September 2015 | By David Rogers | 0 Comments

The BD Bacatá skyscraper, under construction in the Colombian capital of Bogotá, has now become the tallest building in the country, overtopping the 196m Colpatria Tower in the same city, and the second tallest building in South America, after the Gran Torre Santiago in Chile.

“We’re proud that the work of more than 800 builders is being appreciated. Our second tower is continuing to grow and it will eventually have 56 floors”– Carolina Rodriguez, Prabyc Engineers

The Bacatá is the world’s first crowdfunded tower project, having been financed to the tune of $170m in cash by more than 3,800 Colombians.

Each now owns equity shares in the project, and some investors have already received returns of more than 40% on their stake.

The project consists of two towers and the taller of them just reached its 67th and final storey at a height of 240m.

Together they have an area of 115,000 square metres, divided up between apartments, offices, shops and a 364-room hotel.

Carolina Rodriguez, director of operations at Prabyc Engineers, the Colombian structural engineer, told the country’s New Century website: “It’s gratifying to see that the BD Bacatá has become the tallest structure in the country, and we’re proud that the work of more than 800 builders is being appreciated. Our second tower is continuing to grow and it will eventually have 56 floors.”

The tower was designed by the Madrid-based firm Alonso, Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados and is being developed by the Prodigy Network of real estate entrepreneur Rodrigo Niño.

Nino said he turned to the internet to help break the stranglehold that big institutions and rich elites have on commercial real estate.

Work began on the tower in July 2013 and is intended to be the centrepiece of an urban regeneration scheme. Since then, 57,000 cubic meters of concrete and 112,000 tons of steel have been used on the project.

The Bacatá was the first tower to be successfully crowdfunded, but it is not the first to be completed.

The AKA United Nations building, a condominium in Manhattan, New York, was completed last week and is due to take its first resident on Thursday.

As with the Bacatá, it was funded by Niño’s Prodigy Network, although, unlike the Colombian tower, it is a redeveloped hotel rather than a new build scheme.

According to Bloomberg, Prodigy has three other crowdfunding projects in New York.