Eerie photos show Disneyland ghost town of luxury villas abandoned years ago
A wild plan to build a luxury development of over 700 Disney-style castles failed when the developers went bankrupt with the Black Sea resort almost complete.
The fantasy village now stands empty as an eerie reminder of broken dreams.
Over 80% of the luxury villas in Burj Al Babas, built to resemble classic French architecture, were completed but they have stood empty since developers The Sarot Group went bust in 2018.
Of the 730 or so planned villas designed by consulting architect, Naci Yoruk, about 350 were sold to Arab investors.
But most, if not all of the sales have since fallen through, according to The New York Times.
Construction began on the complex in 2014. Some 2,500 workers were hired to build the fantastical holiday vilage, and the developers promised they would finish the project in four years.
The luxury development was originally intended to house a shopping centre, a 400-room health spa with Turkish baths, and even its own cinema.
A catalogue produced by the developers promised cinemas, restaurants, fast-food areas, children’s playgrounds, conference halls and meeting rooms with free broadband access and a car wash.
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The site in Turkey’s northern Bolu province even boasted its own underground hot springs, with water bubbling from the ground at over 68C.
The development of 324-square-metre plots isn’t far from the town of Mudurnu, halfway between Turkey's largest city Istanbul and its capital Ankara
Unfortunately, despite promising early sales not enough people paid in advance for the £400,000 castles.
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The combination of the 2018 financial crisis in Turkey and a sudden rise in fuel prices proved to be the last straw.
In 2019 the developers filed for bankruptcy with debts totalling over £19 million.
Sarot Group Chairman Mehmet Emin Yerdelen blamed the company’s collapse on “deadbeat clients”.
“We couldn’t get about 7.5 million dollars receivables for the villas we have sold to Gulf countries,” he told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet in 2018.
“We applied for bankruptcy protection but the court ruled for bankruptcy. We will appeal the ruling.”
At that stage he was still hopeful of bring the project back to life, saying that he only needed to sell 100 villas at full price to break even. Since then, though, little seems to have changed.
If you have a spare £300k lying around and you can track down Mr Yerdelen, one of these bizarre fairytale castles could be yours…
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