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Rio's Olympic Village faces hard times

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 01:29

Brazil's real estate slowdown threatens to leave apartments in Rio's Olympic Village vacant after the Games. Fred Katayama reports.

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Rio 2016 could be creating a real ghost town. These 31 towers for Olympic athletes in Rio de Janeiro are set to become luxury apartments after the Games are over, but many may wind up empty. Sporting price tags as high as $912,000, developers say they've sold less than 7 percent of the units. A source says buyers are even returning the apartments. Not exactly what officials had in mind at the time of the opening. Rio 2016 President Carlos Arthur Nuzman: SOUNDBITE IN PORTUGUESE WITH VOICEOVER IN ENGLISH: CARLOS ARTHUR NUZMAN, PRESIDENT, RIO 2016, SAYING: "Many consider what we have here today the best and most beautiful Olympic Village of all time." But Brazil's economic crisis and fears that few will reside in this remote region have slammed sales. Sociologist Mauricio Santoro: SOUNDBITE IN PORTUGUESE WITH VOICEOVER IN ENGLISH: MAURICIO SANTORO, SOCIOLOGIST, SAYING: "The crisis in Rio was not created by the Olympics. It has been developing over many years as a result of very bad management of resources during the global boom in oil prices and a huge growth in government spending." The local government removed thousands of people from their homes to develop the area. This aquatics center and handball arena at the Olympic Park will be removed after the Games as part of a plan to convert the area into apartment blocks, a school, park, and a shopping mall. But sources say no new residential or commercial projects are planned, and they fear the site will be deserted.

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Rio's Olympic Village faces hard times

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 01:29