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$100 'Forest city' became a complete ghost town for years

Monday, 01/04/2024, 17:21 (GMT+7)

Progress on the $100 billion coastal city, initially planned to house a million people, came to a standstill, leaving it a ghost town.

Forest City, a $100 billion eco-friendly megacity envisioned in southern Malaysia, stands today as a stark contrast to its intended purpose.

Designed to house a million residents and boasting luxurious amenities like a golf course and water park, the city now sits eerily empty, earning the label of a "ghost town."

$100 'Forest city' became a complete ghost town for years 1
Forest City, a $100 billion eco-friendly project intended to be a bustling metropolis, has now turned into a ghost town. Image Credits: Getty

The sentence "Forest City" turned into a ghost town due to stalled progress

Construction began in 2016 by Country Garden, a Chinese property developer. However, only 15% of the project is complete, with a mere 1% occupancy rate.

$100 'Forest city' became a complete ghost town for years 2
Despite the ambitious plan to accommodate a million people, only about 15% of the city has been constructed. Image Credits: Getty

Despite the developer's optimism about completion, the project faces immense financial strain with debts reaching nearly $200 billion.

Intended to attract wealthy Chinese buyers seeking second homes, Forest City's exorbitant pricing proved unviable for the local Malaysian population. The COVID-19 pandemic further hampered the project, leaving thousands of vacant apartments with no potential buyers.

$100 'Forest city' became a complete ghost town for years 3
Forest City's failure was attributed to high property prices, limited demand, and disruptions caused by COVID-19. Image Credits: Getty

Residents express their disappointment about the Forest City.

Nazmi Hanafiah, a former resident, described in an interview with the BBC how he escaped from a lonely and uninviting environment after just six months.

The lack of amenities and isolation drove him away, highlighting the project's shortcomings in creating a vibrant community.

$100 'Forest city' became a complete ghost town for years 4
Nazmi Hanafiah, a former resident, describes his unsettling experience and abrupt departure from the ghost town. Image Credits: Getty

In an interview with the BBC, Nazmi Hanafian said: "To be honest, it's creepy. I had high expectations for this place, but it was such a bad experience. There is nothing to do here."

Forest City is actively trying to shed its ghost town image.

$100 'Forest city' became a complete ghost town for years 5
Efforts to rebrand Forest City as a coastal resort destination aim to revive its tarnished image. Image Credits: Getty

Press releases in March 2023 portrayed it as a "popular short-haul tourist destination" offering "coastal resort life." However, the success of such rebranding efforts remains uncertain. 

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