The corridor from Tijuana to Ensenada has seen an unprecedented growth spurt the past several years, with concrete being poured and hammers flying at a pace that seemed unsustainable to many of us long-time observers. Equity money was easy and speculators were snapping up condo units as fast as the criminal U.S. bankers could draw up the loan docs. It had to bust, and now it has. But before the poor saps who weren’t able to spin their deals and cash out start feeling sorry for themselves, they should take some solace in the fact that America’s self-appointed real estate genius didn’t see it coming either. Although I’m sure his own money wasn’t in the deal, Donald Trump has pulled his name from a 526-unit hotel-condo development, that now says it has no money to build the project even though individual buyers had spent $32 million on deposits. Easy come easy go, eh Donald? The trouble is that most of the buyers pulled the trigger based on Trump’s involvement. Good luck getting your money back, guys.
Meanwhile, about 50 miles down the road, Tiger Woods is forging ahead with his involvement on Punta Banda (they are calling it Punta Brava since Punta Banda has a negative image after many homeowners who hadn’t done their homework lost their investments several years ago…ever heard of ejido land?), about 11 miles south of Ensenada, near the legendary blow hole. I voiced my opposition to this disaster in a previous post , and nothing has happened since to change my mind. I have nothing against golf courses and I play the game somewhat competently, but this is not the place to put one. At this point, with the global recession sinking its teeth into every economy, I give this project less than a 50/50 chance to ever see completion. Tiger, take a lesson from Trump and pull out now. Concentrate on regaining your swing after your knee surgery for the upcoming Masters.