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Chinese Developer Builds Villas On Shopping Mall Roof

In many of Asia's ever-expanding cities, that availability of prime real estate is increasingly rare. So what do you do when you've run out of good locations? Build your house atop a shopping mall, of course.

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Or at least that's what happened on the roof of a shopping center in Zhuzhou, China. According to the China Daily, developers have built four unfurnished villas above the city's eight-storey Jiutian International Plaza, each a spacious 500 square meters with unobstructed views of the surrounding area.

But in addition to drawing the interest of international media thanks to their unusual location, the villas have also caught the attention of Zhuzhou locals and raised concerns about the safety of their construction.

Fully equipped with electricity and water, the residences are meant for the shopping mall developer's 160 real estate management employees. Though some have questioned the legality of their construction, Zhuzhou city planners confirm that everything was done by the book.

In 2008, Zhuzhou was one of 34 urban areas selected by the government to become “national-level garden cities”. The program, introduced in 2011, requires green rooftops with living vegetation on buildings that have fewer than 12 floors, are shorter than 45 meters and were built within the last 20 years.

In this case, the Jiutian International Plaza is following the rules: that green and living vegetation just happens to come with four concrete villas and 160 residents.

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