“Useless” skyscraper spires help developers fudge numbers

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The spire rising to the top of 1 World Trade Center

The prestige that comes with a superlative — having the biggest, oldest or tallest building in the game — helps landlords move units and fill space. But according to a new report, many new buildings fudge the numbers when it comes to height by adding superfluous needles.

A study by the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat found that no less than 44 of the world’s 72 tallest buildings topped the 300-meter mark by adding a purely decorative spire, according to the New York Daily News.

And while famed world buildings like Dubai’s Burj Al Arab are some of the worst offenders – the top 40 percent of that 1,053-foot structure is strictly for marketing purposes — New York City is guilty too. The final 408 feet of the World Trade Center belongs to a do-nothing needle.

And with several new 1,000-foot-plus residential skyscrapers going up — Macklowe Properties’ 432 Park, and Extell Development’s One57 and 225 West 57th Street — buyers may want to start taking height claims with a grain of salt. [NYDN]Christopher Cameron 

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