I'm probably not the only person who looks at Dubai's grandiose plans - a mini-world of man-made islands, or the famed Burj Khalifa looking out across the flat desert - and thinks "Why?" Apparently, Istanbul seems to be a little jealous though.
Don't get me wrong. I love Istanbul from the bottom of my heart. New. Old. It's all good. When the city makes the news, the real estate broker in me needs to share things like:
This Bloomberg article from 2/3/2011:
Istanbul Favorite European City for Property, PwC Survey Says
"Istanbul is the best place in Europe to buy or develop property as Turkey’s economic growth contrasts with declines across much of the region, a survey of 600 real estate professionals by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP showed."
Europe’s next world cities: Istanbul and Moscow? – Greg Clark, Senior Fellow, ULI Europe
"The lessons from the global indexes are clear. Istanbul and Moscow are importantly located cities, ideally situated to host global firms and attract large scale investment to match their political and cultural significance. Europe may need them to succeed if the continent is to be competitive in the longer term. However, both powerhouses have struggled to improve their social and physical infrastructure and openness sufficiently to develop their knowledge and business credentials, which is holding them back from taking their recent progress to the next level."
Luxist: Istanbul Sapphire Is Europe's Tallest Tower
"Need more proof that Istanbul is becoming one of the most cosopolitan cities in Europe? Check out the Istanbul Sapphire, the 261-meter skyscraper that will be the tallest residential building in Europe once it is completed in late 2009. The skyscraper has been under construction for three years and recently reached full height. It will have 64 floors and offer 174 private residences. The total cost of the project is currently $200 million and around 40 percent of the whole project has been sold. The tower is also home to a shopping center, fitness center and spa, restaurants and includes vertical gardens and a viewing terrace." (Turkish Daily News)
Do we really need the tallest residential building in Europe to make our point? With golf at 160 meters above the ground? OK...maybe the shopping mall is an awesome idea....and I DO love the name Sapphire... Again though, I say wait a minute. Why do we need this obscenely tall building on the Istanbul skyline? It dwarfs everything around it....though it must have an awesome view over the city's seven hills and beyond.
As you can see, I'm torn. Go forward? Hold back? Well, what did I expect from a city known for it's dichotomies? Maybe Istanbul Sapphire fits right in.... Next thing you know, Trump will be building down the street. Oh, wait...what's this? Trump Towers Istanbul? blah-de-blah "first to bear the Trump name in Europe."
What was that other guy saying about infrastructure? ;)
Here's the developer's clip for Sapphire, in English:
Spiderman to Climb Europe’s tallest building in Istanbul