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Billboard announcing the Trump resort in Baja. Billboard announcing the Trump resort in Baja.

Here’s why Trump might not like Mexico

Buyers sued after Baja resort had been sold as a Trump project

Thanks to the monitoring of real estate developer Donald Trump’s Twitter account, the world knows what he thinks of the Academy Awards, the winning Mexican director’s film Birdman, and investing in Mexico which, in short, is very little.

What the world might not know is that Trump’s tweet regarding investing in Mexico might stir up some unpleasant memories for nearly 200 people who paid a total of more than US $20 million in deposits on luxury ocean-view condominiums at Trump Ocean Resort Baja.

The seven-hectare waterfront resort development at Playa Bandera, Baja California, 16 kilometers from the U.S. border, was to include 526 condo-hotel units in three 16-story towers, and was announced in 2006 as a Trump project. A report by SanDiegoRed says the emphasis would be on luxury living and exclusivity: swimming pools, spas, tennis courts and fine dining.

Ground was broken but that was as far as it got: it was hit by financial problems in 2008 and shut down in 2009.

Shortly after, a lawsuit was filed by nearly 70 plaintiffs against Donald Trump, his children and the developer. They claimed that they were deceived into believing they were buying into a Trump project.

But in fact they were not.

Trump claimed that he did no more than license his name to the developer and that he was not responsible for the development, although his name appeared on all its marketing materials. That, said an attorney representing the plaintiffs, gave a sense of security to buyers who would not have invested had they known the truth.

Trump told the San Diego Union-Tribune at the time that while he was not happy with what had occurred, he had never been to the site and that the developers had simply licensed his name.

Four years later, the plaintiffs reached a settlement with Trump.

A similar situation has since occurred in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where buyers sued after a Trump International Hotel & Tower project went off the rails. In that case as well, Trump denied responsibility, saying he had done nothing more than license his name.

Sources: San Diego Union-Tribune (en), SanDiegoRed (en), New Times (en)

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