Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A White Elephant Towering Over Bogotá?

Is anybody working up there?
The two-tower BD Bacata
looks quiet these days.
The BD Bacata skyscraper started out in the year 2013 with great promise - or at least promises. Colombia's new tallest building - and the second tallest in South America - would be the world's first crowdfunded high-rise and produce returns for investors at double the bank rate. The two-tower complex - to include a shopping mall, hotel, luxury apartments and offices - wouldn't even worsen traffic jams in the already-congested area.

The promoters' promises sounded too good to be true, and so far they have been. Construction is now years behind schedule, and investors who each poured tens of millions of pesos into the trillion peso project, are complaining. The Bacata's builders say the project will operate this year, and the mall section looks close to completion. However, during the past weeks I haven't seen anybody working on the unfinished towers. The project'¿s backers explain that they ran into legal and other delays, including a huge rock underground.

The mall looks near completiion.
The skyscraper was never a great idea by urban design standards. It's on a busy, chaotic avenue, with only a narrow access to its parking garage. And the building has little public space, and no green space at all nearby.

Now, I wonder whether it'll get finished, and I feel sorry for those who counted on it for a life-long 'guaranteed' income.

A century ago, the Edificio Peraza on Calle 13 across from the Estación de la Sabana was Colombia's tallest building.
Today, however, it appears vacant and decrepit.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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