Tag Archives: Barbados Real Estate

Psssst… Want to buy Barbados residency status? Got US$2 million?

royal-westmoreland-barbados.jpg

I must have missed the changes to the law last year when the government decided to start openly selling Bajan residency, but we’ve been seeing a lot more rough men with Eastern European / Russian accents lately, haven’t we? Maybe this is something to do with it?

Wealthy Barbados Investors ‘Seek Special Permit Property’

Royal Westmoreland estate introduces special entry permit service to carry out paperwork for NHWIs buying property worth more than US$2million to qualify for the scheme.

There has been such a demand for special entry Barbados property-for-residency permits for wealthy investors that a top development has launched a special service to handle the paperwork for clients.

High-net-worth-individuals are seeking special entry permits that were introduced last year that allow buyers of properties worth US$2million or more to obtain residency status that includes their spouse and children.

The Royal Westmoreland estate, which has just announced another 200 luxury villas and a nine-hole golf course on the adjacent 210 acres of land, plus some larger plots, has seen rising demand for luxury homes from High-Net-Worth Individuals (NHWIs).

Additional planned private jet flights from Heathrow to Barbados by Royal Jet, owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, is adding to the island’s appeal to wealthy investors, says Westmoreland.

A company spokesperson says, “There has been take up of the special entry permit and Royal Westmoreland has been introduced to a new business consultant service to carry out all the paperwork for the clients if they do not have the time themselves.”

… read the rest at OPP-Connect’s Wealthy Barbados Investors ‘Seek Special Permit Property’

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Buccament Bay Resort buyer successfully sues David Ames, Harlequin Resorts for breach of contract

UPDATED: The News retracts Harlequin story – says court case not finished!

St. Vincent & The Grenadines paper The News has retracted its original story that was the subject of our original article.

The News states:

No judgement yet in Buccama case

There has been no judgement yet in the case brought by Scotland resident Ana-Mendez-Canga against Buccament Bay Resort.

Last week’s report in The News – that there was a judgement in favour of Canga when the matter was heard before the Master – was incorrect. The News sincerely apologises for this error. A letter from lawyer Samuel Commissiong of the firm S.E. Commissiong & Co. Law Firm states that “No judgment was entered and could not have entered because a Defence and Counterclaim had been filed in the Suit, and of course an acknowledgement to the Claim was entered in Time.”

Several cases of similar claims are now before the court against the Resort and it’s understood there are some judgements and in others efforts are being made by the company to settle the claims.

Here is a copy of the original The News article:

(click photo for large)

Here is our original October 16, 2012 story… Continue reading

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Pure Beach Resort Barbados: Computer-generated simulations don’t need environmental & planning permissions

Watch this video. Give me your money.

If only success was as simple as computer-generated reality, developers wouldn’t have to worry about environmental studies and planning permissions yet to be obtained, financing in these disastrous times, infrastructure guarantees by a flat-broke government and construction start promises hanging tantalizingly just out of reach.

If computer art was reality, prospective owners wouldn’t have to worry about turning over tens of thousands of dollars with no consumer laws or escrow accounts to protect them while sales people show slick little presentations designed to target emotions and leave caution behind.

Ecoterra International Corporation and Pure Beach Resort have it right though: lots of tranquil beach flybys while a handsome barefoot cello player sits in the surf playing ‘Over the rainbow’… Just imagine! Look at this paradise… beautiful sunset, clean water, green trees and the soft wind playing in your hair.

Oh ya… get me my cheque book honey. We have to have a piece of this before someone else buys it and we lose out…

It just feels so right, here in Barbados…

Further enlightenment… Continue reading

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Harlequin Barbados: More promises to news media, but where’s the action?

click all photos for larger views

EXCLUSIVE:  New Merricks construction photos

Where’s the action?

On August 15, 2012 when BFP’s photographer visited Harlequin’s Merricks construction site, there were precisely five men at the project. Five. You can see four of them in one of our photos. The fifth was operating a construction shovel.

As was the case when we visited Harlequin’s H Hotel and took photos over a period of five months, we have to ask our readers: Does Merricks look like a healthy, vibrant construction site to you? Does this look like 1,000 units ready to rock and roll?

So far it looks like Harlequin sold over 1,000 units at Merricks but the sum total of the work completed in 2012 is what you see in the photos. According to Barbados Today, this is what is happening at Merricks in 2012:

“Meanwhile, at Merricks, construction has been ongoing on the Show Village which will house one four-bed villa, one two-bed villa, one service building, and a lagoon and events gazebo to the tune of $7.5 million.”

From Barbados Today Jobs coming

Ian Bourne of Bajan Reporter took the news media tour on August 21, 2012 and it will be interesting to hear what he has to say. We’d like to know how many workers were on the site when he took the tour, but also how many are on the site today! Our photos were taken during an ordinary day – Ian’s and the rest of the news media took theirs during a planned news conference. Let’s see if that made a difference. Continue reading

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Does Barbados protect foreign investors and buyers of vacation properties?

How many incomplete, delayed and struggling vacation projects line our beaches?

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

It must be a very fine line that any responsible Government walks, especially during a period of prolonged financial challenges.

On one hand, they want to encourage, entice and persuade overseas investors to commit to projects that produce employment, wealth creation and meaningful long term value. While at the same time, they equally desire to protect the integrity of the destination, which in our case is often referred to as iconic.

It is almost impossible without having sight of the facts, to ascertain exactly how many hundreds of units of a variety of tourism residences have been ‘sold’ over the last few years, based on computer generated images or artists impressions. Clearly in a multitude of cases, a considerable number of these have yet to be built, let alone, occupied.

Ultimately, of course the latin phrase ‘caveat emptor’ or buyer beware, prevails.

But…

Should ‘we’ as one of the Caribbean pioneers of tourism with a long and relatively successful  history in this sector, not have clearly understandable and transparent legislation in place to protect what could become regular repeat visitors to our shores? Does for instance, the relevant Government Ministry conduct due diligence checks on foreign based companies that submit planning applications for tourism projects, before they are approved?

Is there an insistence that a subsidiary company is legally incorporated in Barbados, and all transactions, whether sales, lease or rental are subject to the laws of this land?

Do ‘we’ ensure that all deposits, pending title completion of the property are held in an escrow account here on Barbados and stipulate the collected funds can only be used to build and market that particular project? (Editor’s note: We all know the answer to that question and it isn’t pretty!) Continue reading

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The heartache and frustration of renovating historical buildings in Bridgetown

Building before renovation

From a mutual friend we (and every other news media outlet in Barbados) received another sad tale of outrageous abuse by our government officials against an investor and business person who was doing something positive in the community.

You want a lesson in how a few narrow-minded bureaucrats can take six years to pass a few pieces of paper around and discourage even the most enthusiastic foreign investor? Read on…

The document speaks for itself, so we’ll let ‘er rip…

By Ryan Thorpe: property owner, business investor

Telephone (246) 2687665
Email : RyanThorpe69@hotmail.com

Historical Building : Violet Bourne’s Bar and Andy’s Bakery & Deli 116 Roebuck Street
Bridgetown

This property was on the market for sale over 6 years (1999)

Mr recommendation to: The Bill for the preservation of places, structures and relics or other object of archeological, historical and cultural interest.

To :

Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, the Hon Stephen Lashley,

Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Ms Shirley Farnum

Deputy Permanent Secretary, Division of Culture and Sports, Ms Celia Toppin:

Dear all,

Site Description

The subject site is one of the typical small urban lots on Roebuck Street. Roebuck Street is a Class 1 road according to the Town and Country Planning Development Order 1972. This street is one of the seven Cultural Heritage Conservation Areas identified within the Bridgetown Community Plan Boundary. The sites contain a two storey stone building that has been identified by the Barbados National Trust and UNESO as a building for its historical and architectural value. The building on Lot 116, like most other heritage buildings along the throughfare of Bridgetown occupies the majority of the land space zero degree to the boundaries lines.

The property was formerly known as “V Bourne’s Bar” which was a popular Rum shop for liquid lunch, cutters, rock cakes, lead pipes and fish cakes in the 1970’s situated on the ground floor. The first floor was living quarters for the same shop keeper’s family and later in the 1980’s was a Tailors shop.

This property was renovated to almost the same architectural design alike the 1800’s, approximately six years ago by me (Ryan Thorpe) the owner and property developer resulting in a change of use to facilitate more up market retail space and corporate offices, harmonizing the old with the new designing. I have injected 40% physical labour and design into this project for this final finish.

I have resided and worked in the United Kingdom for the past ten years as a Multi-Skill Engineer with a International Blue Chip Companies and the United Kingdom government.

I was very happy with the area as an investment, having done tremendous historical research about the area, which holds so much history for Barbados and the Caribbean trading communities. I had some costly delays and setbacks with the Chief Town Planner, since it took that Department one year before the approval of my building plans, and one of the main requirements was to locate twenty five (25) parking facilities in Roebuck Street to accommodate my business venture i.e Change of use to public entertainment and Sports Bar (2011). I believe the government of Barbados should pay more attention to the Town Planning Department as these delays can hinder returning nationals and foreign investors from coming to Barbados to invest in our heritage. Continue reading

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Was I dreaming last night when I heard Mark Cummins of Town and Country Planning?

Was I dreaming last night?

I swear I heard on the CBC TV8 news that Mark Cummins, the head of Town and Country Planning  had been quoted to the fact that NO planning application had been made for either Skeete’s Bay or Foul Bay.

Yet Pure Beach Resort is being widespreadly advertised including with renown estate agent, Sotheby’s in the UK and locally.

I also recall a Minister of Government turning a sod recently.

With the Harlequin Properties potential for destination reputation disaster pending, are we (Barbados) getting a name for for shady projects?

Further enlightenment…

YouTube: Groundbreaking ceremony

YouTube: Pure Beach Resort, Barbados

November 3, 2011: How can Town and Country Planning approve Pure Beach Resort and Spa without due diligence?

October 27, 2011: Pure Beach Resort pledges $1 million to Queen Elizabeth Hospital – refuses to say when the money will arrive!

October 25, 2011: Source: Barbados Foul Bay developer Ecoterra International Corporation failed to file financials for last three years

October 23, 2011:  Another half-billion dollar Barbados resort announced with standard fanfare, concept paintings etc.

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Why so many Barbados condo projects? The answer will shock some investors.

“Everyone makes money with the exception of the developer investor.”

Condos here, condos there. Half finished, never finished condos everywhere!

New foreign investor arrives in Barbados!

by “Number 37”

The reason why condos continue to be built in Barbados has nothing whatsoever to do with the ability to sell them.

They are built because someone, largely overseas developer investors, will invest in their construction.

The real estate agents give inflated projections on sales at inflated prices, the local contractors and design consultants reinforce these mistaken projections – the developer investors see profit. The development gets built, everyone makes money with the exception of the developer investor. Some projects never even get to completion.

The problem is the caliber of developer – most are ego investors – business men made good in some other business, who listen to the siren call of the “Barbados Building Machine”. Once the beast is fed and the financial life blood drained from the investor they are discarded until the next fool steps of an airplane.

One way to stop this nonsense would be to require fully audited development business plans to be a condition of the granting of planning permission – then 25% open market sales before the construction can commence. That would identify and kill-off the unsustainable schemes.

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Mail Online asking if Simon Cowell and Andrew Lloyd Webber bailing on Paradise Beach development.

Last July we published the comments of Death Wish film director Michael Winner about what he described as the “bizarre saga” of the on-again, off-again Four Seasons / Paradise Beach development.

Then Avinash Persaud was quoted in The Nation News as saying that everything was okay with the Four Seasons project since the Barbados government issued a guarantee for $120 million – except that was apparently not enough money and the project needs more.

Now the Mail Online is saying that Simon Cowell and Andrew Lloyd Webber are rumoured to have cancelled and asked for the return of their deposits.

What’s the truth? Hey… this is Barbados, so who knows?

“Have Simon Cowell and Andrew Lloyd Webber finally lost patience with the troubled Paradise Beach development in Barbados and demanded their money back?

Six months ago developer Robin Paterson assured The Mail on Sunday that all was back on track and work had re-started at the site. Now, it appears, more refinancing is required.”

…full story at Mail Online Hothouse Property Gossip: Paradise postponed for Simon

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Does Bizzy Williams have a piece of Adams Castle Estate?

“Strange alliances, strange happenings here and there…”

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Have you noticed the strange alliances and strange happenings here and there in the last year? So many unusual partners, people who wouldn’t be seen in the same room together all of a sudden working and cooperating on business and land deals. Is it the difficult times? Is it the leadership vacuum since David Thompson’s death and the fracture of the BLP?

Whatever is happening, I’ll say in tribute to Bob Dylan turning 70 (gasp!), “The times they are a changin.”

I heard a rumour the other day and I don’t know if it’s true…

but the person who told it to me believed it was true. They said that Bizzy Williams had a piece of Adams Castle Estate as an investor, not a buyer. Considering the other known players, that would be something new, wouldn’t it? What does it mean if anything at all?

Tell me what you think. Are the times they are a changin’?

Photo of Bizzy Williams at the Adams Castle Estate opening from the Bajan Reporter story New Barbadian Gated Community – Adams Castle Estate: Very Upscale

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Barbados Cove Bay Developers ask for your comments and understanding

Property Developers concerned about Bajan Public: AND THEY SHOULD BE

There’s quite a fuss going on in Barbados over the proposed development of Cove Bay. Bajans have had as much as they can take of developers waltzing onto the island, wining and dining some government officials and then doing whatever the hell they want to do with our precious natural heritage.

With the help of corrupt and inept government officials, developers have walled off much of the West Coast and restricted access to the sea and beaches. With the help of government officials who let them build without deep enough pockets and with no guarantees or deposits, some developers have left unfinished disasters that blot the landscape.

By the law of Barbados, Bajans are supposed to have unrestricted access to the sea and beaches but that’s not the way it’s worked out and we’re plenty vexed about that and we’re not going to tek it any longer. No Sir.

Oh, we’ve also had enough of the developers hiring “consultants” who turn out to be related in some way to public officials. That’s another story for another day, but keep it in mind as you watch what happens at Cove Bay or any other project in Barbados.

The Cove Bay developers know they have a big problem with the public

The Cove Bay developers also know that Bajans are getting a little more militant when it comes to resisting irresponsible development. Continue reading

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Barbados school: Built with Untreated ordinary pine?

Tax dollars put into materials that quickly rot out?

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Check this one out for yourself. I’m looking at The Nation article Schools on target for September with a photo titled “An elevated view of the Blackman-Gollop Primary School, showing a part of the inner courtyard.”

The article starts “THE TWO SCHOOLS currently under a multimillion-dollar education sector enhancement programme will be ready for class come September.”

We’re spending millions of dollars and I think I see much of the construction being done using cheap ordinary, non-pressure treated pine. I see a few pieces of pressure-treated wood but that emphasizes that the majority of the wood is ordinary. It looks that way to me.

Surely this is not what was specified? There is something wrong here if it is untreated pine and untreated plywood I see in the photo! Continue reading

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Prime Minister and Former Chief Justice spar in the media – but still no Land Titles in Barbados

“To International Investors and retirees considering purchasing land in Barbados: Good luck suckers. Welcome to the Third World.” *

“Do foreign investors and retirees realize they can never obtain titles to lands and homes in Barbados?”

One Canadian’s Title Deed missing for 37 years!

Prime Minster Stuart and former Chief Justice SIR David Simmons are currently engaged in a public war of words over who is the most incompetent. We’ll reprint two newspaper articles at the end of our post, but for now you can sum up the little boys fighting as this:

Prime Minister Stuart: Did so!

Chief Justice Simmons: Did not!

The land titles system in Barbados has been in chaos for decades. Incompetence, corruption and a laziness by elected and appointed government officials combined to get us where we are now: No land titles have been issued for years, and those previously issued are ALL SUSPECT. Continue reading

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Michael Winner talks about Paradise Beach, Simon Cowell and Barbados Free Press

Death Wish film director lets loose on “bizarre saga” of Four Seasons Resort and a lot more

There can be no dispute that our old friend Michael Winner loves Barbados – and not just the West Coast / Sandy Lane crowd either. We’ve seen him pass through places like er, Grape Hall, and he’s usually smiling away in the passenger seat like he’s just had a tonic and gin… or five. Sometimes he waves at folks in much the same manner as Queen Elizabeth in a motorcade. We wave back. Like we said, Michael Winner loves Barbados and we get a kick out of him too.

Mr. Winner has been following what he describes as the “bizarre saga” of the on-again, off-again Four Seasons / Paradise Beach development and has just published a tell-all about the project in the Telegraph. It’s a wonderful and fun read with a few secrets and private quotes thrown in here and there.

Here’s a list of some of the folks he talks about… Continue reading

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Barbados Property List offers free real estate listings

We’ve noticed that Barbados Property List is testing a new free listings feature. The free listings are text only and expire after a few months – but it’s a great way to test the waters if you’re thinking of selling your home or property.

Of course, if you’re selling a place like Lot 14 Ocean Drive, at Royal Westmoreland for US$1.5 million (land only), you will probably want to put up a paid listing with a nice photo of the shack the folks at Royal Westmoreland could build for you on your lot.

(Some shack! I love that home in the photo. Wonder what it costs? Sigh… Now back to reality…)

Check out Barbados Property List website and their free listing information page.

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Barbados Auditor General: Owen Arthur – Mia Mottley Government stole land and profits from the people of Barbados

UPDATED: February 15, 2011

We’re reminding everyone of this story for a reason: The Arch Cot Inquest resumes on February 17, 2011 and BFP is about to publish an article showing how government corruption in land dealings contributed to the deaths of five members of the Codrington family.

Nothing changed with the election of the DLP Government in 2008. The piggies are still feeding at the trough – just a new group of piggies, that’s all.

Original Story published October 15, 2009…

“On two occasions, lands for which the infrastructural development was funded by the Corporation were placed under the control of private developers for allocation to potential buyers. There was no clear benefit for the Corporation from this course of action. With applications in excess of 24,000, there was no benefit in allowing private developers to allocate land, without any stipulations about whom the land should be sold to.”

… from the report of Auditor General Special Audit of the National Housing Corporation (available at the Auditor General’s website here)

(Sure, no benefit to the corporation – but many benefits to friends of the BLP government!)

How crooked BLP politicians and their friends ended up with public land for cheap!

How the Thompson DLP Government will protect the guilty! Continue reading

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Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – 85 Employees To Be Terminated, Barbados Government’s Double Standard Against Canadian Philanthropist

Sanctuary officials confirmed that there was still no word from Government on their intentions regarding the future of the Sanctuary…

…Saying that that the future of the Sanctuary and Graeme Hall National Park is in the hands of the Government of Barbados, Allard believes that the Friends of Graeme Hall and the citizens of Barbados must decide what their priorities are.  “We have great affection and regard for the people of Barbados.  This has been an incredibly painful and saddening decision, but ultimately it is not for us to initiate or set national goals and long term environmental legacies for the nation.”

… from a press release by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary covered at Bajan Reporter

The Double Standard From Prime Minister Thompson

It seems that David Thompson and other Ministers of the Barbados Government have been everywhere lately trying to save jobs and convince businesses and investors not to cut back on employment in these hard times. Whether talking with LIME about keeping a hundred jobs at the call center open, addressing business people at the Chamber of Commerce, giving away tens of millions to rich horse owners and Thompson’s close friend and legal client Leroy Parris, or making secret deals and guarantees to keep the Four Seasons project abuilding, the Barbados Government has been in frenzied efforts to save jobs everywhere.

Everywhere that is, except for the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary where the Government of Barbados has not even bothered to send a letter or make a phone call to the management.

Why the Double Standard?

On Wednesday, Barbados Free Press will present a compelling argument (complete with visual evidence) that the Government of Barbados is carrying out a strategy designed to allow certain friends of government to make huge profits from Graeme Hall: the last natural green space between the airport and the city. This profit will come at the expense of the citizens of Barbados who will be denied their Graeme Hall National Park. To effectively carry out the plan, the Barbados government would like to seize land from Peter Allard – the Canadian philanthropist who offered to GIVE the land to people of Barbados as part of a National Park.

The Barbados government is happy to have the gift of the land of course – but government officials want no strings so they can later sell or lease the land to friends and family members in their quest for personal wealth.

Don’t forget to visit BFP on Friday for part 2 of this article, with details that should interest every foreign investor and foreign landowner in Barbados. If it can happen to Canadian Allard (and a few others we’ll talk about) it could happen to you!

Meanwhile, head over to Bajan Reporter for the story of the layoffs and the full press release…

Bajan Reporter: BREAKING NEWS – Final Employee Termination Schedule At Sanctuary, Let’s Try And Stop This Please

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