BEWARE OF DEVELOPMENTS IN PUNTA LEONA, COSTA RICA, Limoncito, El Tranquilo, Marina Carara, Naturezza Retreat, Brisas del Golfo, Condominio Cerromar, Condominio Montemar, Condominio Bosques de Punta Leona, El Bambu, Condominio Villa Leona.
We are writing to warn those who are interested in any of the ongoing developments in Punta Leona about the anomalies that are going on in this resort.
Punta Leona has been one of the most beautiful places in the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. My husband and I purchased land in 2001 and recently built a home in Altos de Leonamar, one of many developments of Punta Leona. Despite its potential to be the dreamed retirement community the experience has been less than ideal. As it relates to our own experience, we see a huge gap between what is offered and what you end-up getting. I will list the reasons for our disappointments specifically in ALTOS DE LEONAMAR, but will also address current issues with other developments nearby that may have more serious implications for newcomers.
The developers . The developers of Punta Leona are Guillermo Carranza Castro (Grupo Carranza) and Eugenio Gordienko Orlich (Hotel y Club Punta Leona) have multiple law suits in Costa Rica, (see details below) from customers that claim that they have been ripped-off for thousands of dollars.
ALTOS DE LEONAMAR
The lot . Our problems started when we realized that the plot landmarks that were shown to us and we ended-up purchasing were different from the registered landmarks. We had to modify our ideas of what we wanted to do after we saw the real layout.
The road. The road leading to our house was destroyed in one of the storms ~ 5 years ago because of bad construction. The materials to fix-up the road were apparently stolen and despite of numerous discussions, written petitions, etc., we still dont have a paved road to get to our house. Because of the bad condition of this road (it does not even have gutters) we had to pay $1,350 to build a gutter in front of the garden so that the mud carried by the heavy rains would not get into our house. Because of this bad road we also had to spend $15,250 dollars in reinforcing the entrance to our garage.
The administration of the condominium . The condominium administration is broke and far from functional. The main problem is that the developers own 76.71% of the land that encompasses the condominium which gives them absolute majority in the voting for the condominium administration according to Costa Rica condo law. This majority has enabled them to not pay the condo fees and vote all issues in their favor. The condo currently has serious problems with security, availability of water and electricity, garbage disposal, general maintenance of gutters, roads, and green areas. As an example, we did not have any water during New Years week because the Hotel Punta Leona which is owned by one of the developers was at full capacity and there was no water left for us in Altos de Leonamar. The building code for style is easily violated as are any of the rules relating to noise, advertising, control of construction building crews that hang out around the neighborhood etc.
However, the most serious current issue is their plans to further develop the land near Altos de Leonamar which includes EL TRANQUILO ( www.tranquilolife.com) , NATUREZZA RETREAT, CERRO MAR , and BRISAS DEL GOLFO. These developments will bring 800 more people to a very small area and there is not enough water and electricity to support these developments. There area also no telephone lines (as we mentioned we dont have a telephone) . The road to the beach already has so many cars that on weekends it is dangerously congested. The new developments will exacerbate this situation since it is not possible build new roads there.
The environment. The advertising of developments in Punta Leona has always emphasized their conservationist approach to the environment but reality shows otherwise. Those of us who purchased with the idea of keeping and maintaining the wonderful surroundings and natural beauty of Punta Leona, are devastated by the exploitation and abuse of the forest by the developers. Development of El Tranquilo, Condominio Cerromar, Condominio Naturezza,Condominio Montemar, Condominio Brisas del Golfo, Condominio Limoncito is currently on hold by Costa Rican authorities (MINAET) because of its harmful impact on the environment. These developments consist of 6 towers in El Tranquilo, 8 towers in Naturezza,70 lots in Cerromar, 8 towers in Limoncito, 460 lots in El Bambu, 350 lots in Villa Leona, 15 small farms of 50,000 m2 in Condominio Bosques de Punta Leona. Many of these developments plan to turn the beach front into parking lots. Furthermore, all the soil that is being carried by water to the beach Playa Blanca (one of the most beautiful in Costa Rica ) is killing marine species and natural ecosystems.
The promise of a secluded, de-facto private beach . When we and others purchased the land, we were taken to a beautiful secluded beach available to condo owners. Now, the developers claim that the road to the beach is private property and access to condo owners is denied.
VIVA PUNTA LEONA
VIVA Punta Leona, one of Punta Leonas first condo developments that started 2 years ago left over 30 buyers hanging after it was not able to move forward. To date, buyers have not received their investment:
Articles published on VIVA Punta Leona (((link redacted)))
(((l ink redacted)))
Purchasers Might Lose Thousands on Fai l ed VIVA Punta Leona Condos in Costa Rica
January 28, 2009 VIVA Punta Leona, a cancelled pre-construction condo project from Beach One Developments a failed alliance between Eugenio Gordienko of Costa Ricas exclusive Punta Leona Hotel & Club and Hal Wright of Punta Dominical, has not yet refunded hundreds of thousands of dollars paid by national and foreign purchasers who bought condominiums in the projects phase I release.
In a beautifully executed sales event on April 30, 2007 , the now-defunct partnership between Gordienko and Wright sold 36 pre-construction condominiums to purchasers from Costa Rica , the United States and Canada in the VIVA Punta Leona Phase I release. The first release included one-, two- and three-bedroom properties that ranged in size from approximately 800 to more than 2,000 square feet . Per-unit prices ranged from US$189,900 to US$749,900, generating total sales of US$16.3 million.
Unfortunately, ongoing problems and disputes led to the quick demise of the partnership behind Beach One Developments, and like many other pre-construction projects planned for the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica , VIVA Punta Leona was canceled. However, unlike other canceled or postponed projects in the area which include St. Regis, Vista Azul, Jaco Beach Towers and Tropica Sands VIVA Punta Leona purchasers have not yet been refunded for their deposits.
I put down a deposit of $37,000 for the condo I purchased with VIVA Punta Leona, said Antonio Oreamuno, a Costa Rican citizen who has been a member of Punta Leona for nearly 25 years. I never expected that people so well known in Costa Rica would take so long to refund my deposit if the project was cancelled. Both Eugenio Gordienko and Hal Wright are, as far as I know, very wealthy and influential individuals it doesnt make sense why they would risk their reputations by failing to return the money.
After signing purchase agreements, VIVA Punta Leona purchasers were instructed to make a deposit equal to 10% of the purchase price to a Stewart Title escrow account to secure their selected condo units. Some purchasers, such as Ralph Carlson of Costa Rica paid as much as $78,000 for the deposit on his VIVA Punta Leona penthouse condo. When the project was cancelled, purchasers rightfully expected the prompt return of their deposits.
Purchasers were notified on June 6, 2008 that the money would be refunded within a 10-month term by April 6, 2009 . At the same time, Eugenio Gordienko released sales information for another project in Punta Leona Limoncito and hoped that most purchasers would want to transfer their deposits from VIVA Punta Leona. Yet after months of poor communication and failed hopes, most investors just wanted their money back. They are still waiting.
I havent heard anything from the VIVA developers for many months now and Im getting very worried, said purchaser Gretchen Gary, an American citizen who lives part-time in Jaco , Costa Rica . I am not interested in transferring my deposit to purchase in Limoncito and just want Eugenio Gordienko and Hall Wright to refund my $21,000. No one answers my calls, and at this point, I have no idea who to talk to about my VIVA refund.
For now, the process of refunding the deposits for VIVA Punta Leona seems to be at a standstill. There is no communication, no action plan, and not even an appointed representative to answer questions. In the complete absence of communication, purchasers can only hope that Eugenio Gordienko and Hal Wright will keep their promise and refund the deposits. If not, they will set a very bad precedent on the central Pacific coast one that may change the future of ethics and fair dealing in the local condo market of Jaco, Costa Rica and surrounding areas of the central Pacific coast.
SOME EXAMPLES OF OTHER ONGOING PROBLEMS WITH DEVELOPMENTS IN PUNTA LEONA
In CERROMAR there is a lawsuit set forth by GIORGIANELLA FREER VIQUEZ en el Juzgado Civil de Mayor Cuanta de Puntarenas for breach in the contractual agreement.
18 residents in representation of the Mapache development file a lawsuit against la sociedad Hotel Punta Leona S.A., of the Gordienko family, for breach in the contract agreement. Buyers never got the title property as promised.
For more than 10 years, some owners of Vistamar have been waiting for the titles of their properties as stated in the contract.
Complete article Publisher in Spanish:
PUNTA LEONA INFORMA
BOLETIN No 13
GACETILLA DEL 05-02-09.
En esta semana ha circulado una carta donde se hace mencin del engao que sufrieron algunos inversionistas por parte de los seores Eugenio Gordienko, y su socio Hal Wright quienes se comprometieron a construir VIVA Punta Leona, con 30 unidades residenciales por un valor final de $60.000.000.00 con un resultado apocalptico. Segn la denuncia, se dejan el dinero, no concluyen el proyecto pero tampoco devuelve la inversin.
Cuando el Peridico La Repblica , y El Financiero hicieron la publicacin respectiva, desconocan que no solo este desarrollo fue un fiasco, sino que existen otros proyectos que tambin pertenecen a la familia Gordienko, que evidencian iguales irregularidades:
1) Este es el caso de Cerromar, en Punta Leona, donde ya existe una DEMANDA ORDINARIA CIVIL por incumplimiento contractual de GIORGIANELLA FREER VIQUEZ contra HOTEL PUNTA LEONA S.A. y LAPAS DE NITROGENO SIETE S.A., se conoce en el Juzgado Civil de Mayor Cuanta de Puntarenas, en expediente 07-100513-0642-CI-3
2) 18 Socios en representacin del residencial Mapache tuvieron que presentar demanda penal, contra la sociedad Hotel Punta Leona S.A., de la familia Gordienko, por incumplimiento de contrato al no darles a los compradores el ttulo de propiedad al que se haban comprometido.
3) Algunos de los apartamentos del proyecto Vistamar, se encuentran en la misma situacin, se les prometi el ttulo de propiedad pero a la fecha no han cumplido con su compromiso. Adems de la promesa NO cumplida de conformidad con el contrato, (desde hace mas de 10 aos) de convertirlos en condominio.
4) El proyecto de Limoncito est a punto de sucumbir por la falta de inversin extranjera, a pesar de que el seor Gordienko, engatus y comprometi el dinero de los socios del Hotel y Club Punta Leona S. A. sin la debida autorizacin de la Asamblea , y especulando con dinero que no es suyo.
5) Por otro lado estamos investigando un proyecto en Orotina y otro en Esparza, tambin de la familia Gordienko que corrieron con la misma adversidad.
La familia Gordienko est echando a perder el paraso que todos conocemos como Punta Leona. Este sigue siendo una excelente opcin donde vivir PERO DEBEMOS CORREGIR LAS ATROCIDADES Y ABUSOS QUE SE ESTAN COMETIENDO, NO SOLO CON LOS PROYETOS RESIDENCIALES, SINO CON LA TALA INDISCRIMINADA Y LA CONTAMINACIN QUE NOS IMPIDE DISFRUTAR DE UN AMBIENTE SANO Y ECOLGICAMENTE EQUILIBRADO.
El Licenciado Oreamuno nos solicita la divulgacin en nuestro Boletn de de la publicacin que se hiciera en los medio de comunicacin mencionados con la siguiente peticin: POR FAVOR DISTRIBUIR ESTE MENSAJE A TU LIBRETA DE DIRECCIONES DE LA GACETILLA. URGE QUE EL MAYOR NUMERO DE PERSONAS ENVIEMOS NUESTROS COMENTARIOS A EL FINANCIERO (((link redacted))) . EL PROBLEMA DE VIVA PUNTA LEONA NO ES UN PROBLEMA PUNTUAL. ESTE ES UN ASUNTO DE TODOS EN PUNTA LEONA.
Cambiando de tema, recibimos hoy por parte de la seora Laura Surez Zamora, directora a.i. de ARESEP la misiva que acompaamos cuya temtica ya conocamos, excepto el prrafo segundo del punto 1) que nos menciona que Ecoservicios Punta Leona S.A. apel la resolucin final y el recurso de revocatoria se encuentra en revisin en la Direccin de Asesora Jurdica de la Autoridad Reguladora.
No obstante y pese a que se solicit regular las tarifas de esta empresa, la ARESEP no se las puede brinda ya que carece del requisito legal que exige la ley 7593, Artculo 9 en concordancia con el artculo 5 de la misma ley.,
Bien queda claro, el A y A, debe hacerse cargo del servicio y Ecoservicios queda excluida como ente operador del servicio.
P/PUNTA LEONA INFORMA
JORGE ALBERTO CAMACHO.
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