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Failed Developments in St Lucia

Failed Developments in St Lucia

Old Sep 30th 2011, 9:44 am
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Default Failed Developments in St Lucia

In 2006 we decided it was time to make some life changes and bought off plan a villa in St Lucia (we were paying in stages and had paid nearly 50% of the purchase price)
The development stalled in 2009 and in the last couple of months we have been informed that the Bank is putting the company that owns the site into administration as there is a mortgage in place.
The legal system on the island is lothargic and getting answers is almost as bad as getting blodd from a stone.
Letters and emails to Ministers and other government officials go un answered, it appear that although the Island needs investment and tourism they arn't quite so keen to help when things go wrong.
I am certainly not looking for charity but just suggestions on how we can get the development financed then finished (about 150 villas) so everyone wins!

i would welcome any feedback anyone may have.

thanks
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Old Oct 1st 2011, 11:23 pm
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Russett View Post
In 2006 we decided it was time to make some life changes and bought off plan a villa in St Lucia (we were paying in stages and had paid nearly 50% of the purchase price)
The development stalled in 2009 and in the last couple of months we have been informed that the Bank is putting the company that owns the site into administration as there is a mortgage in place.
The legal system on the island is lothargic and getting answers is almost as bad as getting blodd from a stone.
Letters and emails to Ministers and other government officials go un answered, it appear that although the Island needs investment and tourism they arn't quite so keen to help when things go wrong.
I am certainly not looking for charity but just suggestions on how we can get the development financed then finished (about 150 villas) so everyone wins!

i would welcome any feedback anyone may have.

thanks
Is that Bay View ? Why are you writing to ministers and government officials, what has a failed property company got to do with them ? There has been a global downturn and St Lucia like everywhere else was affected by all the loose money flying about and cheap credit. This was a recipe for disaster and all came crumbling down. Just have a look at the economic situation in Greece. In America whole streets were being repossessed in some areas. I know this does not personally help your situation but we have to put things into perspective. Have you got good health, a roof over your head and food to eat ? If you have answered yes to this, then just be thankful for life. If this was a smaller development I would say the owners should offer to buy their own individual plot of land and complete the individual builds themselves, however as there was 150 homes planned it would depend whether the roads and utilities are in place. I suppose you will have to contact the administrators and see exactly what their plans are to recover their debt. I hope it works out for you but to be honest I have always been a bit skeptical about these off plan developments in St lucia especially when there is so much affordable already built property on the market. The agents and developers have a lot to answer to.

Last edited by pgtips; Oct 1st 2011 at 11:36 pm.
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Old Oct 2nd 2011, 7:18 pm
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Originally Posted by pgtips View Post
Is that Bay View ? Why are you writing to ministers and government officials, what has a failed property company got to do with them ? There has been a global downturn and St Lucia like everywhere else was affected by all the loose money flying about and cheap credit. This was a recipe for disaster and all came crumbling down.
Hi pg,

The writing was on the wall for many of the developments which were scheduled to coincide with Cricket World Cup 2007 well before the rest of the world started to feel the effects of the credit crunch though. I wonder whether Almond Resorts have ever needed to use the extra rooms they built for that event which were not actually completed until well after it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2007...r2?INTCMP=SRCH

22,000 visitors - my a..e!

St Lucia and much of the Eastern Caribbean were playing the same game and the end result was one huge financial flop.

Indeed Le Paradis flopped with the problems of CLICO but there is a big list of planned St Lucia developments from 2006 to 2008 which I can recall which never saw the light of day or were dire failures because the marketing efforts in 2006 and early in 2007 never took hold.

Word is out that the amount of debt the local banks are carrying for the current "successful" hotel operations is quite staggering to the point they can never be repaid. And then there are the already failed ones such as Discovery for which there seems to be no end in sight for the tale of woes.

Even today there are websites suggesting that Harlequin Hotels - Marquis Estate is a done-deal.

Indeed, buying off-plan here seems to be risky in the extreme, in spite of the brochure promises that there is easy money to be "made" when the second wave of buyers rushes in to take your property off you - they wish.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Oct 2nd 2011 at 7:31 pm.
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Old Oct 3rd 2011, 8:39 am
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

PGtips
You are correct that i am talking about Bayview.
Thanks for responding, i apprieciate and respect your comments although your sarcasm and self rightiousness statement about health and shelter were rather condesending given you know nothing of my situation!!!
Your comments about affordable housing may now be relevant given the market decline however at the time of purchase nothing could be further from the truth.
The reason for writing to anyone who may listen including officials is that we and other investers are still keen to see the project through (even if this means buying and self funding the whole site as a collective) but seem to be stuck in beaurocracy and want help from others who may have been in similar positions who may know the right person to talk to.

If anyone has any advice please post it, however if you just want to rub my already bruised face in the mud a bit more please dont bother!
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Old Oct 3rd 2011, 11:51 am
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Russett View Post
PGtips
You are correct that i am talking about Bayview.
Thanks for responding, i apprieciate and respect your comments although your sarcasm and self rightiousness statement about health and shelter were rather condesending given you know nothing of my situation!!!
Your comments about affordable housing may now be relevant given the market decline however at the time of purchase nothing could be further from the truth.
The reason for writing to anyone who may listen including officials is that we and other investers are still keen to see the project through (even if this means buying and self funding the whole site as a collective) but seem to be stuck in beaurocracy and want help from others who may have been in similar positions who may know the right person to talk to.

If anyone has any advice please post it, however if you just want to rub my already bruised face in the mud a bit more please dont bother!
#
Sorry Russet, I never mean to sound so harsh. The reality as Pistolpete2 has mentioned is that many of these off plan developments went up the pan. I for one have seen the Bayview site, and I was always skeptical about the scale of it and the extreme slow progress this was happening at. I sincerly hope the purchasers can take over this project as the concept and location was a bloody good one !!! However It all depends on the administrators now. If you as owners form your own management company and offer to buy the site off the original owners I think this would be great for yourselves and the local economy. Howver remember this is a small Caribbean island and the beurocracy can be ridiculous at the best of times. Have you spoken to a local lawyer about this ?
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Old Oct 3rd 2011, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Originally Posted by pgtips View Post
#
Sorry Russet, I never mean to sound so harsh. The reality as Pistolpete2 has mentioned is that many of these off plan developments went up the pan. I for one have seen the Bayview site, and I was always skeptical about the scale of it and the extreme slow progress this was happening at. I sincerly hope the purchasers can take over this project as the concept and location was a bloody good one !!! However It all depends on the administrators now. If you as owners form your own management company and offer to buy the site off the original owners I think this would be great for yourselves and the local economy. Howver remember this is a small Caribbean island and the beurocracy can be ridiculous at the best of times. Have you spoken to a local lawyer about this ?
Thanks PG and sorry for biting. We feel pretty daft at the moment having acted with hearts rather than heads but dont think that the situation has to be totally written off as it does seem that there is a concessus and unity amongst the current investors (most of whom have communicated through a more specific forum) that it may be salvagable. That said the information seems very vague and irregular (even through the legal proffession) and had hoped that someone on this forum may have some advice or contacts that could be helpful?
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Old Oct 3rd 2011, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Russett View Post
Thanks PG and sorry for biting. We feel pretty daft at the moment having acted with hearts rather than heads but dont think that the situation has to be totally written off as it does seem that there is a concessus and unity amongst the current investors (most of whom have communicated through a more specific forum) that it may be salvagable. That said the information seems very vague and irregular (even through the legal proffession) and had hoped that someone on this forum may have some advice or contacts that could be helpful?
Russet I will try and dig a little deeper into this and see if I can find out anything more. I know the original vendors really wanted this to succeed, so there is no harm trying.
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Old Oct 3rd 2011, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

PG

My understanding is that the original vendors are the current vendors and they just dont seem to be able to raise capital, At present the bank have started proceedings to recover monies owed as the promise of a new financier has been put on the table by the vendors more than 3 times yet has failed to materialise.
That aside over 30% of the site has buyers commited with contacts and money to spend yet the vendors seemed totally unwilling to form an alliance with investors who were happy to help self fund to protect the long term.
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Old Oct 3rd 2011, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Russett View Post
PG

My understanding is that the original vendors are the current vendors and they just dont seem to be able to raise capital, At present the bank have started proceedings to recover monies owed as the promise of a new financier has been put on the table by the vendors more than 3 times yet has failed to materialise.
That aside over 30% of the site has buyers commited with contacts and money to spend yet the vendors seemed totally unwilling to form an alliance with investors who were happy to help self fund to protect the long term.
Russet I think the vendors pride has got in the way and the fact that he even had you guys willing to self fund the project is even more astounding. I am going to try and locate someone on the island who has his side to the story.
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Old Oct 3rd 2011, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Originally Posted by pgtips View Post
Russet I think the vendors pride has got in the way and the fact that he even had you guys willing to self fund the project is even more astounding. I am going to try and locate someone on the island who has his side to the story.
pg,

Island Construction of Miami?!? - not trying to be smart but good luck with finding any vendor's pride in Moshe Yovel et al.

Seems we've walked this road before!

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=641438
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Old Oct 3rd 2011, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
pg,

Island Construction of Miami?!? - not trying to be smart but good luck with finding any vendor's pride in Moshe Yovel et al.

Seems we've walked this road before!

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=641438
Pistolpete2, yes indeed I remember the discussion.
Russet I am going to PM you the number of a lawyer who has experience dealing with failed developments on the island. Give her a call and see if she can help.
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Old Oct 3rd 2011, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Another suggestion is to maybe start from scratch. Buy the land and start a smaller scale development which the owners control !!! This may even work out cheaper in the long run as land and building cost are actually lower now than a couple of years ago. This way at least you guys will have the deeds to your land. It really depends how much money you have already outlayed.
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Old Oct 3rd 2011, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Originally Posted by pgtips View Post
Another suggestion is to maybe start from scratch. Buy the land and start a smaller scale development which the owners control !!! This may even work out cheaper in the long run as land and building cost are actually lower now than a couple of years ago. This way at least you guys will have the deeds to your land. It really depends how much money you have already outlayed.
That's what I was wondering.

I was also trying to work out whether Bay View was in phases so the properties partially/substantially completed were in one specific area of the overall development in which case they could be hived off into their own community while the remainder sits with the administrator.
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Old Oct 4th 2011, 8:32 am
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

I think the reason Russett mentioned contacting various minsiters etc was that the Prime Minister mentioned the Bayview development specifically in his address of 2010 and quoted that the developer was to spend some $4 million in that year. The Minister for Tourism has also stated that the Government would do everything it could to assist in the provision of rooms for tourists but has ignored communications from some buyers.

The PM and Minister for Tourism must have based their comments on information from someone and it would be helpful if they could exercise a bit of clout on our behalf and get those responsible for this mess to be upfront and tell us what went wrong and why our offers of help were ignored. The developer just seems to have disappeared so if anyone knows how to contact Moshe or Ephrat Yovel, this information would be welcomed by many and I will be on island from 16th. October for two weeks if any of these would like to meet face to face for a "discussion".

I just wonder how much money has passed via our stage payments from Sunset Village to Island Construction and how much of this actually relates to the amount of work done.

I have written twice to FCIB to try to find the level of debt so we, as buyers, could at least have a chance to see if we would be able to buy the debt from them and therefore control the site. After that we could then try to finance the remaining build ourselves but at least we would own our land if nothing else. I have had no response.

I ahve also contacted the receiver, who did reply, but as he was appointed only at the beginning of September was not in any position to give me any financial information.

And so we wait and still know very little, but it would be good to have reliable and up to date information on how much is owed and if we could do a deal with the bank and prevent the developer getting the site back as a phoenix company then we will have achieved something.
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Old Oct 4th 2011, 9:49 am
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Default Re: Failed Developments in St Lucia

Originally Posted by Scottylad View Post
I think the reason Russett mentioned contacting various minsiters etc was that the Prime Minister mentioned the Bayview development specifically in his address of 2010 and quoted that the developer was to spend some $4 million in that year. The Minister for Tourism has also stated that the Government would do everything it could to assist in the provision of rooms for tourists but has ignored communications from some buyers.

The PM and Minister for Tourism must have based their comments on information from someone and it would be helpful if they could exercise a bit of clout on our behalf and get those responsible for this mess to be upfront and tell us what went wrong and why our offers of help were ignored. The developer just seems to have disappeared so if anyone knows how to contact Moshe or Ephrat Yovel, this information would be welcomed by many and I will be on island from 16th. October for two weeks if any of these would like to meet face to face for a "discussion".

I just wonder how much money has passed via our stage payments from Sunset Village to Island Construction and how much of this actually relates to the amount of work done.

I have written twice to FCIB to try to find the level of debt so we, as buyers, could at least have a chance to see if we would be able to buy the debt from them and therefore control the site. After that we could then try to finance the remaining build ourselves but at least we would own our land if nothing else. I have had no response.

I ahve also contacted the receiver, who did reply, but as he was appointed only at the beginning of September was not in any position to give me any financial information.

And so we wait and still know very little, but it would be good to have reliable and up to date information on how much is owed and if we could do a deal with the bank and prevent the developer getting the site back as a phoenix company then we will have achieved something.
It will be interesting to get the lawyers take on this. The right lawyer has to be employed to pursue this.
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