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Beijing’s Olympic building bubble bursts

Developers wildly overbuilt office towers and overpriced homes, many of which sit empty


 

In the years leading up to the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing, the city went on a demolition rampage. Whole blocks seemed to vanish overnight to make way for striking new towers and venues for the games, architectural marvels befitting China’s superpower status. Now, with the athletes and spectators gone and China’s economy caught up in the economic crisis, the sheen has come off Beijing’s building boom exposing it for what it was—an overpriced, ego-fueled boondoggle. According to the L.A. Times the Chinese government spent $43 billion on the Games, yet many venues now sit empty. The National Stadium, better known as the Bird’s Nest, has just one event scheduled this year. A baseball stadium opened less than a year ago is already being demolished. Making matters worse, Beijing developers wildly overbuilt office towers and overpriced homes, many of which sit empty. Remind us again why commodity prices exploded in recent years and then crashed back down to earth once construction for the Beijing Olympics was complete.

Los Angeles Times


 
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