Mumbai's first major skyscraper project, and really, the project that can be heralded to have paved the way for the boom, Shapoorji Pallonji & Co Ltd./SD Corporation's twin Imperial Towers
, designed by Mumbai architect Hafeez Contractor as his most recognizable project, was designed as Mumbai's tallest towers.
Then called "SD Towers" or "Tardeo Twin Towers", the years long litigation and hard-won battle for construction rights was the change that heralded the 'new India' economic boom model of urban redevelopment over the paralyzing nexus of 'old India' socialists and special-interest groups that for years had kept Mumbai underdeveloped.
The towers are built on former slum land where the current re-development model of builders providing free land and rehabilitation to slum dwellers in exchange for rights for property development, was first put into practice on a big scale. This model became the standard for slum redevelopment across the city, and across India as a whole.
The towers are ultra-high end residential towers that sold out even before the first brick was laid. The Imperial offers sea-views by virtue of its height, and a resort-like gardens and fountains on top of the parking-structure podium, with hanging gardens that mask the structure itself.
While shortly into its construction, it lost the "India's tallest" tag to Lodha Bellissimo (though only in the comparison of roof height vs. highest liveable floor, like Sears Towers did to Petronas), which in turn lost its claim several times over with announcements of new towers, the towers are the farthest along in construction of all of Mumbai's capital projects, and its unfinished frames dominate the Parel region.
While construction hasn't yet progressed so it is noticible, it is surrounded by several 45-55 storey residential towers, creating Mumbai's first skyscraper cluster. Though a temporary stay has been put on construction owing to some legal matters, it is expected to be finished by 2009.