How would you like a very, very cheap apartment?

This photo was distributed by ZonaEuropa from a Chinese blogger.

This photo was distributed along with those that follow by ZonaEuropa, and the source apparently is a Chinese blogger.

The 13-story apartment building, which was nearly completed, collapsed on the morning of June 27, according to Reuters.  The photos are so dramatic that I’m publishing below almost all that I found.

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A blog called EastSouthWestNorth reports that it was swamped by page views with the referrals coming “mainly through Digg and Redit.”

If you wonder about occupants of nearby buildings, scroll down.

If you wonder about occupants of nearby buildings, scroll down.

The construction project is on Lianhuanan Road in the Minhang district of Shanghai.  One worker was said to have been killed.

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According to a Shanghai Daily report quoted by the Wall Street Journal, initial investigations attribute the accident to the excavations for the construction of a garage under the collapsed building.  Large quantities of earth were removed and dumped in a landfill next to a nearby creek; the weight of the earth caused the river bank to collapse, which, in turn, allowed water to seep into the ground, creating a muddy foundation for the building that toppled.

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The development, known as “Lotus Riverside,” has a total of 629 units, 489 of which have already been sold.  Now buyers are clamoring to get their money back.  If you ask me, that seems like a pretty rational response.

The assets of the project’s developer, Shanghai Meidu Property Development, which had no comment, have been frozen, and city officials said the developer’s ability to repay homebuyers was secure, according to a statement on the municipal government’s Web site.

A hotline has been set up for Lotus Riverside buyers, and by Sunday afternoon, more than half of them had met with a group of lawyers and officials organized to help them negotiate with the developer, according to the statement.

The South China Morning Post noted that the pilings used in the Lotus Riverside development, made of prestressed, precast concrete piles, are outlawed in Hong Kong because they aren’t strong enough to support the kind of ultra-high buildings that are common in Hong Kong. But in mainland China, they are often used because buildings there are typically much shorter.

When I was young, “Made in Japan” was synonymous with cheap, cheap, cheap.  Those days are long gone.

But in China lately, just think of the lives lost through the shoddy construction of part of a railway bridge, schools and a crane. Although many fine products are now coming out of China, it seems that “Made in China” for China now deserves the impression that once burdened products made in Japan.  And sadly so.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

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Malcolm@ServiceYouCanTrust.com
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