Remembering Donald Trump’s failed luxury condo project in Mexico

Some had hoped that Donald Trump’s subdued and even polite visit with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto yesterday might signal a change in his extreme immigration policies. Those hopes were dashed however, when the Donald returned from his trip and gave a fiery speech in which he promised (once again) to build a “beautiful” and “impenetrable” wall and get Mexico to pay for it.

But this is not the first time the Donald has had problems in Mexico. Back in 2006, Trump licensed his name for a condo project in Baja, Mexico called “Trump Ocean Resort.” The disastrous project ran out of money and was never built, forcing many buyers who had invested in the project to lose their savings.

The Trumps claimed not to have developed the project, but only licensed their name. However, buyers in the condominium project say they were misled about this point, receiving newsletters that the condo was “developed by one of the most respected names in real estate, Donald J. Trump,” watching videos that Trump and his children starred in and even attending cocktail parties with Ivanka Trump, who claimed she had bought a condo in the tower.

Prices in the condo building ranged from $275,000 to $3 million. Buyers had been required to put down 30% deposits, and when the project ran out of money, all of them — about 250 in total– lost their investments. Those who could afford to do so sued the developers — Irongate Wilshire and P.B. Impulsores — who were required to pay $7.25 million (the security deposits totaled $32.5 million), but those who couldn’t were left with nothing. The Trumps deny any wrongdoing.

“When the project went south, no one from the Trump organization even contacted us to take responsibility,” one victim told the LA Times. “We were misled — all the marketing materials, the brochures, the name of the building, the fact that Trump’s daughter was at the event, saying she and her brother bought units.”

Trump has not yet said if he would be developing the wall against Mexico or if he would simply be licensing his name to it. If it is the latter, at least the good news is it won’t likely ever get built. [LAT]