On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff
IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a chateau (and who isn’t these days?), have I got a deal for you! Or, at least, details of a potential deal.
There are caveats, however. The property isn’t in France; it’s in northwestern Turkey. And, note, we’re not talking a unique chateau. As Tom Ravenscroft describes in his de zeen article, January 18, 2019, “Drone Footage Reveals Hundreds of Abandoned Turkish Chateaux.” And Francesca Street’s CNN Travel article, January 25, 2019, is titled “Burj Al Babas: Turkey’s $200 Million Abandoned Ghost Town.” What’s more, according to Cagan Koc in Bloomberg, November 26, 2018, “Housing project in Turkey’s north targeted rich Arab clients. Builder blames deadbeat Gulf buyers for his predicament.”
Burj Al Babas was to be a luxury housing development near the town of Mudurnu, in northwest Turkey, about halfway between Ankara, the country’s capital, and Istanbul.
Begun in 2014, Burj Al Babas was to have 732 chateaux reportedly selling for $400,000 to $500,000 a piece. According to the Burj Al Babas website, the luxurious development would feature a large domed communal center, with shops, cinemas, restaurants, conference halls, meeting rooms, and a nursery. Other Burj Al Babas amenities would include Turkish baths, saunas, steam rooms, an aqua park, basketball courts, tennis courts, and football pitches.
“On the outer façade of the buildings that will be built,” the Burj Al Babas website advises, “no modification shall be allowed. The person who purchases the parcel will make all the payments regarding the construction of the building.”
What with one thing and another, the developers Sarot Property Group got into recession-fueled financial difficulty in 2018. Some of the chateaux had been sold, but many investors pulled out, and Burj Al Babas was abandoned.
In November, 2018, Bloomberg reported that Sarot Group was forced into a court-ordered bankruptcy over the Burj Al Babas’s $27 million debt. Bloomberg reported that “Sarot Group Chairman Mehmet Emin Yerdelen blamed his predicament on deadbeat clients.”
According to de zeen, Sarot Group cited a business plan to alleviate its problems: “The project is valued at $200 million,” said the group’s Deputy Chairman Mezher Yerdelen; “We only need to sell 100 villas [of 587 already completed] to pay off our debt. I believe we can get over this crisis in four to five months and partially inaugurate the project in 2019.”
I’m hardly the one to offer investment advice, but I suspect the sellers are highly motivated. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2019