Seen from afar, the town Burj Al Babas could be mistaken for a diorama of miniature villas. All the houses, or better said, castles, have the same appearance and their gothic characteristics Reminiscent of castles from Disney movies.
When this large-scale project began in 2014, its developer, the Sarot Group, hoped the luxury aesthetic would appeal to wealthy foreign buyers. Nevertheless, To this day, her hundreds of fantasy castles feel empty at the base of the mountains in Bolu province, northwestern Turkey.
Prices vary as each owner could choose between three different housing designsdeciding if you want to install an elevator, as well as an indoor pool, among other amenities. Would all villas have a Jacuzzi on each level.
Burj Al Babas, as the town was baptized, was designed to include 732 French chateau-style villas, with swimming pools, Turkish baths, health and beauty centers, a shopping center and a mosque, according to its website. And even though customers from Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia they took over 350 of the 587 villas already built, it was not enough.
With a $200 million budget (around 180 million euros), and with some funds still remaining, the Sarot Group filed for bankruptcy protection after being left without the income that he had anticipated (about 7 million dollars) from more potential buyers.
A court ordered the developer to stop all construction immediately, leaving a ghost town full of abandoned castles.
Flying over Burj Al Babas
The problem is not unique to Turkey. All over the world, cities like New York, Las Vegas or Tokyo are plagued by abandoned properties. But none is as mysterious as the empty villas of Burj Al Babaswhich are symbols of the nation’s difficult economic situation.