We know, we know, we write about Chinese ghost towns a lot on The Blaze. But you know what? The subject never seems to get old or any less creepy. That being said, here’s the latest from the world of centrally-planned boondoggles: a Chinese "satellite city" in Angola.
“[S]tate-owned China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) has built a town in Angola. And it's fairly empty,” writes Business Insider’s Mamta Badkar.
“Just outside Angola's capital city of Luanda is Nova Cidade de Kilamba a residential development of 750 eight-story apartment buildings, a dozen schools, and more than 100 retail units,” the report adds.
The development cost $3.5 billion and was supposed to house approximately 500,000 people, according to the BBC.
“Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos has touted the 'Kilamba social housing project' as an example of his social policy, and he has brought international policymakers including Chinese vice-president Xi Jingping to the site,” the BI report adds.
Guess how much apartments in the much-touted complex cost: while the BBC claims that it's somewhere between $120,000 and $200,000, other evidence claims that a 3-bedroom apartment can run as much as $250,000.
Keep in mind this is Angola. Considering that the country’s GDP per capita in 2011 was $5,144, according to World Bank data cited by Badkar, a $250,000 apartment sounds, um, a wee bit expensive.
"Despite efforts by the government to portray Kilamba as a thriving community through promotional videos, only 220 of the 2,800 apartments have been sold in the first year and the commercial space and schools remain empty," Construction Digital reports. Shocker.
So why is this Angola development mostly empty?
There's the usual reason: it was centrally planned from miles away by a committee that failed to take into account the actual and existing market demands of the local population as well as the overall economic health of Angola.
But there’s also this interesting theory from Business Insider: “Angola serves as China's largest source of oil in Africa. Some like energy expert@pcdunham speculate this could be in preparation for oil money that is expected once the country begins developing new oil discoveries.”
Whatever the reason, the city is almost entirely empty and, as mentioned in the above, supremely creepy. See for yourself [all photos via BI]: