Building a Hollow Skyline

A glut of offices, condos and hotels puts developers and lenders in jeopardy

America's skylines once stood as stirring symbols of progress and prosperity. Yet in many cities the glass-and-steel monuments have now come to represent wretched excess. During the past five years, U.S. developers have constructed a breathtaking surplus of office towers, condominium complexes and hotels. In Los Angeles, a rusting, 17-story framework of steel girders on Wilshire Boulevard has stood idle for three years because of collapsed condo prices. Denver's tallest building, the 56-story Republic Plaza office tower, is only half rented despite such amenities as a concierge, an Italian-marble lobby, a car wash and computerized climate control. Florida's $197 million Le...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!