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3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web

Posted By: Marty

3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/25/09 05:12 PM

The 3,000 acres of North Ambergris Caye that was the subject of much public debate, controversy and even protests back in 2007 is now listed for sale on the Internet for more than double what the South Korean developers paid for it back in 2007. Official Central Bank reports have confirmed that the Musa administration sold the property in the Punta Azul Area to Caribbean Developers (Belize) Limited for BZ$12 million or US$6 million – now Belize Property Center has it listed at a price tag of US$13 million.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in his Independence Day speech Monday that the development on the 3,000 acres – a sale that Barrow had publicly opposed in 2007 – “is imminent.” However, when we did some checking, we found that property being advertised on the Internet for sale by Looey Tremblay, a Canadian real estate agent who operates a RE/MAX franchise in Belize.

On December 28, 2007, just over a month after the National Assembly of Belize approved the sale, Caribbean Developers (Belize) Limited mortgaged the 3,000 acres to the Industrial Bank of Korea as collateral for a US$13,720,000 loan.

About a year later, in January 2009, the law firm of Barrow and Williams (the law firm of Prime Minister Barrow) issued a 2-month notice for the same Korean bank, advising that the bank intends to foreclose and sell off the 3,000 acres on North Ambergris Caye on Belize’s biggest offshore island.

Formerly part of the Pinkerton Estate which the Government of Belize reacquired back in 1990 – under the pretext of making more lands available to locals – the property is said to be located 12.5 miles north of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize District.

The company that holds the title is Caribbean Developers (Belize) Limited, which was incorporated in Belize in October 2007 with Suin Oh and Sung Hee Park of Room 202 at Hanjik Officetel in Seoul, South Korea, as business partners. Christopher Coye for Guardian Services Limited and Roy Cadle for Prudential Trust Corporation Limited signed initially as corporate subscribers.

Prudential is an affiliate of Courtenay Coye LLP (the law firm of ex-People’s United Party Minister, Eamon Courtenay, and Christopher Coye.) It retains one share while Oh retains 9,999.

(Courtenay parted ways with Musa’s Cabinet in June of 2007 and returned to his private practice, after serving as Senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.)

RE/MAX first issued an international press release back in July, captioned “RE/MAX goes big in Ambergris Caye Belize” – a place it described as “one of the hottest expatriate destinations in the world...[that] attracts affluent tourists, wealthy second home purchasers and well-heeled retirees” and “the ultimate resort location.”

Amandala has confirmed that the Korean bank is the party behind the RE/MAX sale and at the time of this writing, the Belize real estate agents had not been asked to withdraw the property from its list of Belizean properties for sale.

The lands now being advertised on the Internet were held as Crown Lands from 1990 to 2007. The lands were repurchased under the People’s United Party administration, and indications back then were that a portion would be earmarked for a reserve (documented in 1996 with the declaration of the Bacalar Chico’s national park designation), 2,500 acres for locals and 7,500 acres for tourism development, including an international hotel, golf courses, luxury homes, casinos, an airstrip, etc.

During 2007, investors were hot for the Ambergris Caye lands. The Musa administration faced a lot of heat over the land deal with the Koreans, as well as proposals to de-reserve part of Bachalar Chico to satisfy a request from Allen O. Cage, Jr., of the U.S. for 8,225 acres of the former Pinkerton Estate for US$25 million – a price tag that was later reduced to US$17 million, but without the deal being consummated.

There was a separate proposal in 2007 to the Belize Social Security Board from a person identified as Richard Lavellee, proposing to purchase SSB’s 3,400 acres for US$10 million. (That deal was also rejected.)

Additionally, there were reports around April/May 2007 that the Musa administration had entertained talks of a land swap of 8,000 acres with Michael Ashcroft’s Belize Bank in settlement of the debt of Universal Health Services (now Belize Healthcare Partners).

Meanwhile, locals from the island have continued to complain that they have not gotten their promised share of the Pinkerton Estate – and even the 25% cut earmarked initially was deemed as paltry.

When Amandala contacted Manuel Rodriguez, Commissioner of Lands, for information on the status of the Pinkerton Estate, he told us that he did not know much about the Estate.

Amandala tried to reach Korea’s Honorary Counsel to Belize, Lynn Young (Chief Executive Officer of the Belize Electricity Limited), to find out more about the status of the Korean investment; however, we were advised by his secretary that he is out of office until next week.

Amandala
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/25/09 06:14 PM

Sounds like another banking disaster in the making.


Posted By: Sirenia

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/25/09 06:21 PM

C'mon Powerball! I would love to just buy that land and have all of the greedy people that would like to single-handedly destroy the beauty that is Belize, cry themselves to sleep on their million-thread count sheets. I would then find a place for a single, lone hammock in the middle and enjoy my unspoiled land...oh, and I would invite everyone over for a Belikin.
Posted By: champion

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/25/09 07:06 PM

...oh, and I would invite everyone over for a Belikin.
Pack it in .... Pack it out.
Posted By: Peter Jones

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/25/09 08:32 PM

Reminds me of what happened in the UK. In the space of a few short years under Maggie Thatcher tens of thousands of acres of open land around lakes and reservoirs in the north of England, effectively common land back into eternity, were parcelled up, sold to the highest bidder, and then fenced off from the public. Because it was done in gradual phases most people didn't have the vision to see what was happening, and those who did see and tried to shout out were silenced as reactionaries and cranks. Just as is happening now with Britain's subsuming into the coming country of Europe.

I'm not sure what Ashcroft's role was in that gigantic con, if any, but I believe he had already become high up in the then-ruling Tory party.

In Britain there still exist some semblance of enforced planning laws. Given the absence of such controls here what is the likelihood that this land will end up under development, supplied from Mexico by a new road?
Posted By: elbert

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/25/09 11:32 PM

I got this in an email today. More Remax retoric
Greetings from Belize!
It has been just 6 weeks since we launched the website www.grandbelizeanestates.net and sales campaign for the newest subdivision on Ambergris Caye - Grand Belizean Estates. We knew from living here as long as we have, that the response would be really positive....we just didn't expect the response and the resultant sales to be so overwhelming!
The 60' x 75' (minimum size) lots, introductory priced from $7,425 - $9,925 US, are selling very quickly and there have been 356 lots sold to date. At this rate, we will hit our target of selling all 1200 lots in the subdivision within 6 months. The Lands Dept. in Belmopan is taking a little longer issuing Deeds of Conveyance, not that the sales volume has gotten so high, so rather than the 7-10 days it was taking to get the titles back, you should now plan on 14-21 days from here on out.
Since many of you have bought "sight Unseen" I've attached some links to YouTube video clips that we took just a few weeks ago so you can get an idea of what the subdivision looks like in its raw state. I've also got a lot more news and details for you in the attached PDF document, including very time sensitive information about an upcoming price increase in 11 more days.

1200 lots, 1200 tolets flushing, thats a lot of #$%* . A whole lot of #$%* !
All of this seems to be doesn't it.




Posted By: Sirenia

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/26/09 12:46 AM

Yeah, it IS a whole lotta something that stinks, that's for sure.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/27/09 02:38 PM

Elbert - suggest you post your comments in the GBE section - it's most interesting stuff.
Posted By: edc3660

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/29/09 01:12 AM

HAVE THEY STOPPED WITH THE ROAD?
Posted By: champion

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/29/09 02:54 AM

Let me pose a question. Does anyone know how many lots have been sold and to whom? If a majority of these lots are sold to the locals and not to American investers, who are we to bitch and moan. If this is an oppertunity for Belizeans to own land and have a home they otherwise could not afford, who are we to stand
against it? Just a thought.
Posted By: champion

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/29/09 05:44 PM

smile
Posted By: Peter Jones

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/29/09 06:22 PM

Do you really think that's likely?
Posted By: champion

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/29/09 06:58 PM

Peter I don't know, thats why I asked. What is the cost of a bare lot south and east of downtown? If they can get a lot for $7500.00, that ain't bad.
Posted By: edc3660

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/29/09 08:08 PM

Im am told that most of the buyers are belezians and a lot of bussines men and women are buying to build a new town with there new shops, stores, and gas stations.
Posted By: champion

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the Web - 09/29/09 08:39 PM

Bingo, thats what i'm talking about. Now if they can aproach this with some sanity, it can work for the better.
Posted By: ron

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the - 09/29/09 09:04 PM

If you are creating an environmental disaster, I don't know whether this project is or not, it makes no difference who gets the short term gain. If the area is prone to flooding with no provisions for proper sanitation its not a good project. Bad environmental planning and town design is bad regardless of the buyers Belizean or ex-pats.
Posted By: champion

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the - 09/29/09 09:23 PM

I have yet to see any docs on the project and don't know if any of us really have. What is the sanitation design and water design? Its easy to be an armchair director, but if proper design and implemetation occure then good for them.
Or don't we have any faith in the system there?
Posted By: Artorious

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the - 09/30/09 09:42 AM

I like the way you think Champion.

And what I gather Grand Estates wont be the first to short change septic system.

Times are changing.

Posted By: lovey and thurston

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the - 09/30/09 02:01 PM

But sewage does not.
Posted By: ron

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the - 09/30/09 09:34 PM

Enough water would also be a priority as would perhaps electricity. Not to much to ask from a developer who will most likely make a good deal of money.
Posted By: Belizebird

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the - 09/30/09 11:21 PM

//ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/352914.html#Post352914
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: 3,000 acres of La Isla Bonita for sale on the - 09/30/09 11:26 PM

You do realize don't you, that this property has no connection with the 3,000 acres and is in a different location?
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