A Chinese developer is building a $100 billion 'dream paradise'— but experts worry it could become a ghost city
By 2040, four man-made Malaysian islands will have a slew of new high-rise apartment complexes, office buildings, parks, shopping malls, bus stops, hotels, restaurants, shops, schools, and sidewalks.
The $100 billion metropolis, called Forest City, is being built by Chinese developer Country Garden. The developers bill it as "a dream paradise for all mankind."
While the mega-development sounds promising, several writers and housing experts worry it could become a ghost city — in this case, a high-tech, luxury urban center that fails to attract many residents. Since the 1970s, Chinese developers have built some-500 ghost cities in China.
Nearly 60 home buyers, 70% of which are Chinese, have now cancelled their leases in Forest City, reportedly due to China's increasing efforts to curb money from leaving the country. In late March, China set new restrictions on the ways Chinese can invest and use their credit cards abroad, according to The New York Times.
While Forest City's developer is Chinese, residents must make housing payments in Malaysia. As a result, many Chinese buyers say they are having trouble making credit card payments on their Forest City apartments, due to the government's restrictions on transactions.
A spokesperson from Country Garden said on April 7 that it is talking to buyers who may break their contracts to work out payment issues. The company will also issue refunds to those who decide to pull out.
Take a look at the city's plans below.