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CC | Investors accuse Venezuelan project developer Luis Correa of embezzlement and misappropriation

HomeEconomieBouw en vastgoedsectorCC | Investors accuse Venezuelan project developer Luis Correa of embezzlement and...

WILLEMSTAD – The Piscadera Harbor Village (PHV) project master plan, established about a decade ago included towers for 40 apartments, ten bungalows, a shopping center, a restaurant, an office building and a boutique hotel. This was supposed to become a gem in the Piscadera area.

But anyone who now takes a walk in that area will think they ended up in a ghost town.

In the end, many of these ambitious developments were left only on paper. “Everything ended in 32 apartments in total,” says a spokesperson of the investors. These investors who own the apartments are preparing a legal case against the developer and owner of the company BSL NV, the Venezuelan businessman Luis Vicente Correa.

Luis Correa

According to the spokesperson, there are several investors who invested amounts ranging from $ 1.8 million to $ 200 thousand in Correa’s ghost projects which are not only the PHV but also the airport hotel, the plantation house Stadsrust and others. The other projects will be dealt with in other articles.

Mr. Correa worked with local contractors, lawyers, suppliers, and more. All these companies and individuals are all still waiting on hearing from Mr. Correa about what will happen to the projects. Curaçao Chronicle has the complete list of people that have invested in and those who have worked on the project.

This business is advertised by Mr. Correa as a development and construction company, and Curaçao Chronicle has tried several times to contact the offices but to no avail. On the website, it states that BSL has offices in Miami, Curaçao and the Netherlands. But after an investigation, it appeared that there are no actual BSL offices at these addresses. It looks more like a briefcase company. No staff or offices anywhere. A reporter from Curaçao Chronicle did speak with Mr. Correa on the phone. His first reaction was that this is all part of a campaign to discredit him.

The Venezuelan developer says he is willing to offer all pending financial statements and other documentations with transparency. He has nothing to hide and stressed that the situation he is in, is not his fault. The PHV owners point out that he has failed to comply with the agreement. Mr. Correa acknowledges that he has paralyzed works on the island for different reasons ranging from the economic crisis to the deterioration of relations with Venezuela.

Curaçao Chronicle asked several of the PHV owners whether they are on a discrediting campaign against the developer and they emphatically denied this. “We have invested millions in these projects and still no word from Mr. Correa. It has been nine years now! Mr. Correa relies on an interpretation of his lawyer and other external factors, and he believes that he cannot be held accountable,” said a spokesperson for the investors.

The only person on the island that speaks for Mr. Correa is his representative Mr. Walter de Jongh who owns De Jongh Sporthuis located in the Saliña area. According to Mr. De Jongh, indeed the project has suffered delays. But there are plans to continue and finish it in 2022. De Jongh indicated that there are investors interested in the project, but they are waiting for the notary to finish the necessary papers for signing. De Jongh says he is constantly on the phone with the notary about this project. He is also working on the new permits and that Curaçao Chronicle would receive a copy of the documentation related to this project. This was promised about a month ago and still no documents.

Currently there are several cases against Mr. Correa. He is being accused of embezzlement and misappropriation. The PVH owners again stressed that he did not finish the project and therefore alleges that he will not give up the control of the condominium. The project has an immense debt to the utility company Aqualectra, Giro Bank, gardener, security, etc. The constructions are deteriorating, and no maintenance has been done in a long time.

In the case of the Giro Bank, which had lent so much money to Mr. Correa, the investors indicate that they cannot believe how such a respectable financial institution has worked with this man who does not have a single penny to his name. The question remains what type of agreement the bank had with Mr. Correa and what is the Central Bank saying about this.

While the victims are looking for their rights through the court, Mr. Correa enjoys life in Miami together with his wife. He lives in the Trump tower, plays golf and goes to the beach. The investors are wondering where he gets the money to do all of this.

“The investment of the PHV owners has collapsed due to the abandonment of the constructions and the culmination of absolutely nothing at the front side, no shopping center, no boutique hotel, nothing! Who will answer for this?” says the spokesperson.

Bron; CuracaoChronicle

7 reacties

  1. @ Freddy,

    This project has been going on for almost 10 years now and no sign of wanting to finish it. You claim that 85 % is finished, but I hope you can agree that 100 % should have been finished. 85 % sold would have easily paid for the whole construction of the resort, so the question becomes……………where did the money go ?

    The construction of the ‘mall area’ has been without progress now for 4 to 5 years. How do I know ? We spoke with the real estate company, that was trying to find tenants for these units about 8 or 9 years ago. It was at the time when the first spade went into the ground.
    The rental prices however were so far out of this world (50 NAF/m2 per month, excluding service cost, excluding terrace, with a minimum of 100 m2) that we lost interest immediately. Oh, and did I mention the fact you would get the unit without electricity or water connection, it was just basic finish, no floors, no ceiling, zilch, nada)
    Even on Mambo Blvd the prices are lower and there are many more potential customers on Mambo Blvd than there will ever be on this location.
    I guess the result of this idiotic pricing was that nobody was interested anymore, no units were rented and construction then went in an extremely slow pace and after a couple of years it completely stopped.
    I can understand that, if you live on the resort you don’t want to be staring at a ruin all the time, which is also not kept clean, but unfortunately that is the reality they have to live with.

    I have also seen some of the apartments and villa’s, you are correct by stating that many are finished………..on the outside, but the interior is far from finished in many apartments.

    I was told, by a someone working for BSL, that the crisis in Venezuela was the cause for the construction not progressing.

    Whatever the reason is, this project is far from finished and that is what makes the owners angry. They were promised A, but got D or even lower. They clearly realize that nothing is going to change anymore, this is it and logically they are not happy with that, since they will be unable to rent it out or even sell it. Not a single tourist would like to be in such a resort, which is basically a building pit.

    Sometimes I have the idea developers don’t think of the consequences of their pricing. It is the reason why many projects fail. They don’t want to understand the success of their resort is a sum of all ‘ingredients’, it has to be a win-win-win for everybody. If only one person or party wins, the whole project ends up as being a big failure and that is what we are seeing here.
    I know the Marriott well and I know all areas are finished. Covid hit the horeca very hard on the island, but BSL was not a victim of Covid, BSL was a victim of bad management and that is a totally different dimension.

  2. @Joep Meloen

    Hi Joep!
    It is not my idea as well for example Marriott did not finish yet all the outlets such as gym and spa, and has a huge issue with the restaurant capacity all due to 2 years of Covid crisis. All projects in Curacao has issues and it is not to justify any. But misinforming is my observation here. 50 units have been finished and they are running which is 85% of the project and 10 are pending which is 15%. This is a fact that you can go yourself and verify with the managing company. What it was published is completely deviated from these facts. And last but not least, maybe 1 or 2 people are angry for the delays, but they do not represent the other 99% of the owners. Thank you!

  3. The information here does not reflect the reality of Piscadera Harbour Village. The foundation that is pictured in the report is the last building of the resort. All other buildings and bungalows are finished and are either occupied by owners our rented through the managing company (Key Management). This is misleading information with bad intention towards the developer. Before publishing this and be part of the FAKE NEWS of Curacao, please research and try to reach the other side of the story . See video from today: https://youtu.be/I6wE4Yw5MFU

  4. @Reminder, klopt helemaal. Was er toen wel ff bij. De leugenachtigheid en achterbaksheid klotste er vanaf.
    Hoe stupid zijn de investeerders geweest. Dat is het probleem met mensen, more more is de mantra.
    Als je er nu komt dan lijkt het of je ergens aan de Zwarte zee in een verlaten resort terecht bent gekomen.

  5. Volgens mij is/was hij een ‘kompinchi’ van de ex directeur Eric Garcia van de Girobank.

    Bij de opening heeft de heer Garcia destijds een toespraak gehouden….

    De overheid heeft kapitalen c.q. belastinggeld gestoken in de ‘herinrichting Piscadera’.

    Alle restaurantjes waaronder ‘Wien’ moesten verkassen en ‘Pueblo’ had geen uitzicht meer op het binnenwater vanwege de luxe mall in aanbouw die al jaren er verlaten en vernield bij ligt…..

    Hij had meer projecten in de pijplijn die nooit gerealiseerd zijn…

  6. De mensen hebben zich laten leiden door mooie brochures zoals gewoonlijk.
    Ik kreeg een jaar of 3 geleden ook zo’n brochure van een kennis die in het Piscadera harbor resort had gekocht en mijn vrouw en mij probeerde te overtuigen aan de hand van mooie plaatjes te gaan kopen. Hij had het wel gedaan en us voor 8 ton NAF het schip in gegaan.
    Luisteren naar mij homaar. Ik zag het echt niet zitten , kwam te schimmig over, als het aan mijn vrouw had gelegen waren we er nu ook ingetuind.
    Mensen denken niet na da’s het grote probleem.

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