New York entrepreneur Donald J. Trump’s planned 526-suit Trump Ocean Resort Baja – 30 minutes south of Downtown San Diego --- is nothing but a deep hole in the ground today.
The condo-hotel project (top right rendering)in North Baja, Mexico, could not obtain financing from a German bank to start construction.
Investors who had rushed to plunk down 30 percent deposits on suites priced from $300,000 to $3 million, are out their money.
Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., through a Mexican entity, PB Impulsores, informed investors there were no funds to refund deposits totaling $32.2 million.
Trump Entertainment Resorts maintains a clause in the buyers’ contracts gave the developer a right to spend their deposits.
Several lawsuits have already been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Trump Baja condos went on sale in October 2006. S&P Destination Properties sold 188 units for a total $122 million on the first day of the sale.
Trump and his partner in the project, Los Angeles-based Irongate Capital Partners LLC, had retained S&P Destination to handle sales and marketing.
Trump claims his only relationship to the project was licensing his name for a fee. He will argue in court that he was not a direct investor in the project, according to sources in a position to know.
Trump, through his Trump Organization, now says Irongate violated a contract to license the Trump name and also missed deadlines to find construction financing. Irongate officials declined to comment.
At the gala San Diego sales reception in October 2006, Trump told buyers Trump Baja “will redefine the standard of premier property ownership and service excellence for all of Northern Mexico.”
He added, “I’ve always said, ‘location is everything,’ and being just 30 minutes from Downtown San Diego makes this an ideal locale for a premier resort property.”
The planned studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom residences were designed for 532 square feet to 2,200 square feet of living area.
As Real Estate Channel previously reported, Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., a nine-company related leisure-vacation group, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.
The holding company listed assets of $2.96 billion and debts of $1.74 billion. The bankruptcy filing was the third in 20 years for Trump-directed companies.