Mar 25

From the Union Tribune comes an article about the current status (if that is what the lack of activity can be called) of the Trump Baja condo construction:

Donald Trump’s decision to lend his name to a lavish coastal condo-hotel project in Baja California brought worldwide visibility to the region’s unprecedented building boom. But two years after a San Diego sales event that drew hundreds of would-be purchasers, the planned three-tower Trump Ocean Resort has yet to break ground and development has slowed along the Tijuana-Ensenada strip known as the Gold Coast.

A 10-mile drive from the border, a half-dozen workers poured concrete into a trench yesterday. Orange fencing surrounded a large deep hole. A wind-tattered billboard displaying a giant photograph of Trump rose over the 17-acre site overlooking the Coronado Islands.

Tijuana officials say the developer received a land use permit in 2005, allowing 526 units to be built on the property that juts out into the Pacific Ocean at Punta Bandera. But the developer has yet to receive a construction permit from Tijuana’s Urban Development Department, the key city agency that gives the go-ahead for new projects.

“Going through the files, we can’t find an application,” said director Miguel Angel Zavala.

Trump’s Los Angeles-based partner, Irongate, said the much-publicized project is moving forward, despite delays, and that they are in the final stages of presenting documents to City Hall. Tijuana’s Municipal Planning Institute, which conducts initial reviews and submits recommendations to the Urban Development Department, received plans earlier this month, the developer said.

So far, U.S. buyers make up more than 90 percent of the project’s clientele, said Carlos Palafox, director of development for Irongate. To date, 167 units have been pre-sold in the first tower, which will have 232 units on 26 stories and is scheduled to open at the end of 2009, about six months behind initial projections, Palafox said.

About 40 percent of the space has been spoken for in the second 26-story tower.

Buyers who sign a contract agree to put down 30 percent of their unit’s cost over a specified time period, Palafox said.

Trump said in an October 2006 interview that the Trump Organization will be a “significant” equity investor in the $200 million project. But Palafox said Trump has yet to invest in Trump Ocean Resort in Baja. Palafox described Trump as a “branding partner,” meaning that he has lent his name.

“The only thing I am at liberty to say now is that we are working with Irongate on a project there,” Rhona Graff, Trump’s executive assistant, wrote in response to a written query.

Palafox said Trump’s participation is significant for the project, as “Trump has become a highly recognized brand,” Palafox said. “With branding comes a very serious partnership. Trump has to protect their quality standards.”

Trump, a celebrity real estate developer known for his TV show “The Apprentice,” has found success in becoming the public face for many developments that carry his name but not his investments.

Like other developments along the Tijuana-Ensenada coastline, Trump Ocean Resort has suffered from the U.S. real estate downturn, as fewer buyers have the equity to purchase second homes in Mexico.

“I think that all U.S. projects that target U.S. buyers have been significantly impacted by the U.S. housing markets,” Palafox said. Another factor accounting for the delay has been finding banks willing to lend the capital for the project, Palafox said, as “almost all U.S. and European banks are going through a much stricter authorization and underwriting process.”

Palafox said the financing agreements are confidential.

Construction on the first tower is set to start in March and the second tower in July.

Palafox said that work has been going on: Workers have been grading the land and installing utilities. “The reason it’s not visible is that it’s all underground.”

Just two years ago, a booming U.S. housing market was a key factor fueling a frenzy of purchases along northern Baja California’s coastline. The chance to own oceanfront property at a fraction of U.S. prices lured many baby boomers to take equity from their U.S. homes to invest in Mexico.

But with the downturn in the U.S. market, Baja California’s coastal real estate sales have fallen. Rafael Liceaga, a well-known Baja California real estate broker, said sales have fallen about 40 percent to 50 percent since the height of the boom but remain above pre-boom levels.

“There continues to be much movement, many transactions,” said Eduardo Rosales, president of the Rosarito Beach branch of AMPI, a national realty agents group.

Despite recent setbacks, “the location is strategic,” said Rosales. “People are investing and are going to continue to invest.”

But now a new market is developing, as buyers have begun scouting for foreclosure properties and “properties that people are trying to sell ASAP,” said Gustavo Torres, a broker in the Rosarito Beach area and vice president of the local AMPI branch.

At Trump Ocean Resort, “we have not reduced prices at all. Our sales have had a slowdown, but we are still selling,” Palafox said. Prices now range from the mid-$300,000s for a studio on the lower floor to $2.5 million for a penthouse.

A saleswoman said amenities will include four infinity-edge pools, tennis courts, a full-service day spa, five-star restaurants, bars and convention space.

Tom Pfleider, an Inland Empire entrepreneur, purchased a one-bedroom unit in the first tower during Trump’s 2006 San Diego sales event.

“We relied a lot on Trump’s name and the fact that he was doing due diligence,” Pfleider said. “We remain excited and expect it to be a first-class property.”

61 Responses to “Trump Baja Resort Going Very Slowly”

  1. William L. Mitchell Says:

    I have a big invertment in this project
    & I would like to talk to some one regarding the matter.
    William L, Mitchell

  2. William L. Mitchell Says:


  3. admin Says:

    hi William. I really couldn’t tell you who to talk to other than the Trump group itself. Their website is

  4. Responding Says:

    Hello William,
    I have also invested a large sum and at this point I am very unhappy with with the Trump Baja/ Irongate answers to my questions. I have taken action against them.

  5. sudha Says:

    i have a big investement in this and I feel that our 30% paid is not geting any interest while they wait to do construction I feel we should form a group and find out exactly why there is a delay and how we will be compensated

  6. Responding Says:

    According to current information The Trump Baja Project has yet to get the building funds and despite collecting over $50M in downpayments the resort has not gone vertical with the construction. My question would be will it ever be built?

  7. Hamed Says:

    I also have 30% invested in this project. I am worried that we are going to lose our down payment and the project is going to get folded. I hope that is not the case but what can we do about it?

  8. Phil Says:

    ME too. What’s going on? Is sales slowed alot?

  9. admin Says:

    One of the few things that you might be able to do, is go after them in US courts. Its going to be hard, and expensive.

    Try and locate an attorney in the San Diego area, and see what they say. A Class action Law Suit might be the only way.

  10. admin Says:

    Yes the sales have slowed to an amazing rate.

    One of the things about Baja, and Mexican Real estate in general, is that it took some time after the slow down in the US, for it to be felt locally. So the sales continued. Another issue, is that the real estate agents in Baja will tell you what ever you want to hear to make a sale. So be careful on that. They are starving and like a hungry dog, might take a nibble out of your fingers as you feed them.

  11. Hamed Says:

    My real estate agent just called me and told me that the first tower is not set to go vertical until some time in 2010. Only after the first tower is done will they start the “Spa Tower” which is the tower I bought into. She is estimating that it will not start until 2012. What a bunch of crap. She is trying to get my money back but I’m not sure if she can.

  12. admin Says:

    I am so sorry to hear that. Like I said, you can try and get a group and go after them in a class action suit, but I would not hold my breath on that. It’s sad to see that they have started a Hotel in Dubai, but can not finish this condo.

  13. Responding Says:

    I hope I’m wrong but the chances that Trump Baja will ever be built are slim to none. Irongate has stated they do not have the money that was left as deposits and will not return any deposits. Good luck!

  14. admin Says:

    For those in need of Luck. You May actually have some. If you are NOT a Mexican Citizen, then find an investor in the same construction who is, and make friends. They may have Legal recourse against the Trump people.

  15. Hamed Says:

    Here is the Latest Article regarding Trump Baja. Hit the “Next” button on the bottom of the page to read the rest of the article.

  16. Brian Gaber Says:

    I am also an buyer of a unit in the Spa tower. I think the term fraud is a good description of what Irongate has perpetrated against us.

  17. phil Says:

    So what are we all screwed or what? I mean the crime itself is enough to deter buyers. I think it will be built but when is the question. Has anyone looked into reselling? I saw a Spa tower on sale on Ebay. Is that even possible? But then again, who in their right mind would buy a resale….

  18. Michael Mikelic Says:

    I am also disappointed on how slowly construction of the project is going but I still think we should give the developer the benefit of the doubt. We are in the mist of one of the worst financial meltdowns in modern history. This no doubt has made obtaining financing more difficult for the developer. But like all of you I am concerned about the wisdom of my investment in this project. I would like to form a dialog with other investors to share experiences and keep one another informed. Please all send me an email

  19. Morty Wigglesworth Says:

    My wife and I went down at the San Diego sales event to look, but the place smelled like a garbage dump (there’s literally a garbage dump behind it), and we decided not to buy. Thank God!! I hate to say but all you buyers may be in for a long fight.

  20. Waiting Says:

    I would like us to collect our eMail contact info.

  21. admin Says:

    Mr. Wigglesworth, Not only is there a dump near by, but just a few miles down the road is a Dairy. That Dairy stock piles the manure from the cattle in lakes un-till they are full, and then dumps this directly into the ocean. That water is so contaminated now days that its scary. Someone should really grab a sample and have it tested.

  22. admin Says:

    For those of you who feel as though you have been ripped off by the Trump corp, you may want to set a meeting place and talk it over. Together you can hire an attorney in both the US and Mexico and sue them.

    Trump is STILL running ads on TV for that place, and all the while he is building a hotel in another country.

  23. Responding Says:

    The probability that Trump Baja will ever be built is slim to none. The developers pulled the wool over all the purchasers’ eyes by selling the product in San Diego to Americans only. If they would have done this sale in Mexico to Mexicans it would have been totally illegal. To start off they did not even have building permits to build the resort and it is questionable that they even have the permits today. They supposedly did $160 Million in sales with 30% deposit monies that is $48 Million in cash collected. They say they DO NOT have any money, what happened to the $48 Million? I do not care that they cannot get financing to build the project; they should have already had the funds to build before taking our money. Didn’t Trump/ Irongate just get done selling $800 Million in Hawaii in one day, where did all the money go? How many of you have purchased and have asked for a refund and have been told they will not refund but offer to sweeten the deal? This project is a runaway train and they are about to crash with our money, what are we going to do about it? We all need to get together and start a class action lawsuit, against first off The Trump Organization because lets all face it without the Trump name we would have never purchased at the resort. Irongate also included in the suit because they are the ones behind this fiasco. A lien can be put on all of PB Impulsores assets; they are the company on the contracts but claim to not being owners of the property where the resort was to be built. The property apparently is in a trust and according to Irongate it cannot be touched. In Mexico there needs to be proof that the Trust and PB Implusores are the same company and that can be proven. They definitely have created a very sophisticated assortment of companies in order to protect themselves from any legal problems but they are not infallible there are ways to get at them. We all need to ban together and bring this public, TV, Internet, start a website, Youtube and any other means possible in order to not let Trump and Irongate get away with our hard earned dollars.

  24. Responding Says:

    Check this link out below? Be ready for Trump to pull his name off Trump Baja. It is coming. It is just a matter of time. What a scam!

  25. Rick Mariani Says:

    I made my third trip to the development 3 weeks ago(9-24-08) since the time of my purchase when it was first released. I met with Matthias who is on staff there in the office. So it was encouraging to know at the very least they still have someone on staff representing the development project. I walked the grounds and did see the underground work being done in terms of drainage and electrical cables, etc. The sales office is open for anyone to make a visit. Yes, it is dissappointing not to see any vertical construction but at the same token I’d rather not have it built so quickly given the economic conditions worldwide and moving into a recessionary time and have it sit there unrented and having to pay for the mortgage entirely out of my pocket along with assesments. Given the credit crisis at hand if I was the bank, I don’t think I would be lending out any money either at this time.
    However,at the same time I do have my doubts that this project will finish but nobody has any proof or information regarding the true facts. So all we can do as investors is sit back and hopefully let the market make a turn around and be patient. But if someone has contacted an attorney to do some investigative work to get some info I’m all for that. Just keep in mind lawyers don’t work for nothing and I would hate to have to spend money for an attorney only for him to come back to us months later with no information and a huge bill for no services rendered.

    Please feel free to respond, I would love to hear from some of my fellow investors.
    Who knows, if this one fails and we get our money back, maybe we can all get together for a different project together and get a super buy as a group. I hear Loretto a little bit further south on the Baja Peninsula on the sea of Cortez side is doing tremendous and has a great master plan community.

    Rick Mariani in Chicago

  26. admin Says:

    Mr. Mariani. You do realise that the Trump project was started more than a year ago?? And that the Trump hotel that started less than a year ago has construction well underway?? Honestly this is not just the money and the banks. I feel that it is also the crime issues, and a bad plan in general.

    Thanks for the post.

  27. The Truth is coming Says:

    Mr. Rick how long have you been working for the Trump Baja Organization? FYI sales started in December 2006, not one year ago.

  28. Rick Mariani Says:

    You could be right, but we have no way of knowing unless we do hire an attorney to start doing some investigative research or someone else to take the time to look into the whole project starting with whether or not permits were ever granted. What crime do you think was committed here ?
    On another note I live in Chicago and Trump tower Chicago went on sale about 5 years ago and they are still not completed with the project.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending anybody here. I’m an investor just like you and nothing would make me happier right now than to see the project go vertical or get my deposit refunded to the tune of 145K.
    Driving through North Baja for the third time in the last 1 1/2 years I have seen much progress on other developments and see the future unfolding right before my eyes and it does look good. If we were to get our money back I think I would consider reinvesting it in the North Baja region or Cabo San Lucas or Loretto. All of which are doing well.
    please keep me posted of any further developments. or if you’d like to email me directly that would be fine to.

  29. HAMED Says:

    Hello all Trump Baja Buyers. A group of us are getting together and having a consultation (free of charge) with an attorney in a week or two from now. If there are any buyers out there that are intersted in joining us, please send me an email and I will send you more information. My email address is:

  30. Rick Mariani Says:

    Please keep me informed of what takes place in that consultation. You can send it directly to my email.

    Thank You,
    Rick Mariani
    ph#847-489-5988 cell

  31. michelle Says:

    My husband and sister in-law also purchased in the spa tower. My attorney recently sent a demand letter asking for our money back. Only Southland Title’s attorney responded with a letter. The letter states they don’t have our money. Matias our sales person stated our money was safe in the title co. Obviously we are being lied to. I wouldn’t mind forming a class action law suit and going after them. Why should they keep us hanging on for years and use our money to earn interest. I am very upset and at the point I am ready to go after them.

  32. michelle Says:

    For those of you who would like to hire an attorney and go after them e-mail me at

  33. Joe Pannarale Says:

    I firmly believe something must be done immediatelly. Let’s try and get everyone’s email and keep in touch with developments. Class Action will be necessary.

  34. The Truth is coming Says:

    The only way anyone is going to possibly get their money back from the Trump Baja smoke and mirror scam is to put together a class action law suit. The money is not with the title company Irongate has it. Matias is not to be trusted. Go to their website and check out the management icon on their website they are the ones that have the money!

  35. The Truth is coming Says:

    Looking for a Trump Baja Class Action Law Suit?
    Email me at its time to get our money back.

  36. The Truth is coming Says:

    Here is the email address for the Mexican consumer protection agency. It is time to start sending emails with our demands against Trump Irongate. Action must be taken now!!! more of us that do it the more pressure will be put on PB Impulsores S.A. de C.V. that is the Mexican corporation marketing Trump Baja. Here is the Tourism Delegate for Rosarito’s email address. Time to make some noise,
    his name is Raúl Aragón Castro

  37. The Truth is coming Says:

    An email to the American Consul in Tijuana, Mexico will help too.
    Tapachula 96, Col. Hipódromo, Tijuana, B.C.
    Tel (664) 622-7400
    Fax (664) 681-8016

  38. The Truth is coming Says:

    Here is the California Attorney General Office link. Just make a letter and copy paste to all the governing bodies possible to stop the Trump Baja Rip-Off

  39. mickey Says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen –

    I purchased a unit in the Spa tower. I’m trying to get my money back for months now. Matias finally gave me Irongate’s phone no. (+1 310-441-1172) so I called the lady that is in charge of Trump Baja project - Alana Jacobs. From her I learned that I can’t get the money back as they never broke the contract and I’m free to take any legal action.

    You probably got the ridicules announcement on Nov 04 that basically said nothing.

    I don’t want to repeat all what’s been said but some facts:
    1. No building permits.
    2. No financing (I was initially told by the sales team that funding was secured for the project)
    3. No construction started.
    4 Trump is just a name – zero investment.

    *** We need to get our money back ***

    I had a similar situation in Las Vegas – we got our money from the developer, we didn’t pay the lawyers up front but a % at the end. I can engage that firm and start the process.

    Some related web sites that you should take a look at:

  40. Daniel Park Says:

    I am an attorney in Los Angeles and currently represeting a client to get her deposit back.

    There is an arbitration clause (Paragraph 17) in the purchase agreement which means the dispute must be arbitrated in JAMS. This is both good and bad. If anyone is interested in the legal analysis, you can email me at

  41. Alexander Says:

    Why doesn’t someone start directing some questions to “S&P”, the sales and marketing outfit who made all the representations? Whatever government agency that licensed them (California?) ought to be looking into this.

  42. mary mc dermott Says:

    Hi, I too have been a purchaser in the Trump Baja Resort. How can I get together with other purchasers who live in the san diego area and puzzle out best course of action. Thanks

  43. admin Says:

    Mary, I’ll write a thread on both the blog and the bulletin board asking other purchasers to post their contact information.

  44. Greg Dover Says:

    I had put down a deposit on an $800,000 unit in Dec., 2006. Two months later, my cheque had still not been cashed and I had not heard anything from S&P or irongate. This made me very uncomfortable about the professionalism of this group so I put a stop-payment on the cheque and cancelled my purchase. Other things that bothered me about this project: very vague details on the rental-pool arrangements and no reassurances regarding the sewage/ocean water quality issues. I don’t know if this helps but my agent was also Mattias Susel and he assured me then that he had put a deposit on the unit right next to mine in the first tower. If true then he should be just as anxious to get the facts about what’s going on. Good luck to all of you.

  45. admin Says:


    Diana (the webmaster)

  46. Dane Taylor Says:

    Dear Concerned Trump Baja Investor,

    Hello, my name is Dane Taylor. I am currently working in a law firm in the Los Angeles area, Lurie & Park, LLP. My firm predominately specializes in real estate litigation and is aware of the growing concerns regarding delays in construction at Trump Baja Resort. As concerned investors increase, my firm has begun to intently monitor the situation. It appears very clear that the developer has severely delayed construction, which in turn has stifled many other investment opportunities for those who have deposited money in the resort. Unfortunately, because the developer is still currently struggling to acquire financing, this can lead to further delays, which can potentially span a couple more years. It appears not only has your condo failed to be constructed, but many have expressed concerns about where their deposit is actually being held. As a result, my firm believes that there is a strong case that the developer is legally viable, and is optimistic about assisting those who desire to retrieve their security deposit.

    Currently my firm is representing one of the many concerned investors who are seeking reimbursement. The matter is pending arbitration, which will take place in January of 2009. Lurie & Park is confident of a positive outcome and is hoping to help those currently in a similar predicament. My firm is confident that there are strong legal grounds to help those obtain their deposits and protect their investments. If more concerned investors unite, it will provide a stronger case for the injustices rendered by Trump Baja Resort. I wish all of you the best, and I hope that you will allow us to assist you to know all of your options.

    Lurie & Park, LLP
    (310) 207-9400


    Dane Harrison Taylor

  47. Nicole Says:

    Hello Trump Tower Owners,

    I am in the process of filing suit against the Trump defendants, I believe some of you may have already done so. I am having some issues serving S & P Destination Properties, S.A. de C.V.. It is a Mexican corporation. Does anyone have a local Mexican address for this business, or know how I can get it?

    Thank you!

  48. Kriss Says:

    I am also an owner, inte the Spa tower. I am ectremely interested in grouping with other owners, and/or getting in on a class action lawsuit. Any other owners, please contact me directly to discuss.

  49. Thomas Chen Says:

    I have 30% deposited for the Spa Towers. I just received notice that Trump took their name off. It’s about time for a class action lawsuit against Trump, the developer PB Impulsores, and Irongate.

  50. Mike Schieble Says:

    Frustrated Trump Baja owners,

    I’m sure many of you received the email on 1/30/09 that Trump has terminated their license agreement with PB Impulsores. In fact, the trumpbaja website has been removed, which makes me believe the project is now completely DEAD. PB Impulsores will no longer provide any feedback on the status of this project. I purchased a unit in Tower 2 and feel violated by Trump’s actions. Please include me on any email correspondance as I would like to join the group in a class action lawsuit. I have contacted an attorney in WI (where I live), but I believe we all need to band together. Thanks Mike

  51. Hadley McGaughey Says:

    Include us: & Doesn’t look good.

  52. Eddy Says:

    I have received also on 01/30/09 th notice from PB Impulsores and I was shocked, it is not acceptable that they can just said that with that simlicity, this is a lot of money involved, that for many of us is now against our savings; please include my E-mail ( to get in contact with anyone else who is forming a group to claim our money back, and I hope that as well as we were toghether the day of the event, we can get togheter joining a force to place an Action to whom is responsably for this fraud, thanks…

  53. Stewart Says:

    I also have 30% tied up in a Spa Tower purchase. Please include me on all correspondence as well. I am interested in joining a class action lawsuit. Thank you.

  54. Pierce Says:

    I have also put down a deposit and am very upset and how everything has transpired. For any action being taken please keep me in the loop and email me at

  55. Lupe Says:

    Dear Trump Baja Buyers:

    For those interested, below is the contact information for an attorney representing 60+ buyers in a Class Action Suit.

    Daniel J. King
    Law Offices of Daniel J. King
    The Trillium Building
    6320 Canoga Avenue, Suite 675
    Woodland Hills, California 91367
    Worldwide Fax Toll Free 866-260-2160
    Alternate Fax 818- 587-9292

  56. KIM Says:

    I am interested in getting together to get my money back. They took more money from me in June be giving us a incentive to stay in one of their resort for one week. Matias and Alana continued to lie to me that tower is being built and tell your friends to buy and would not tell me the prices on remaining condos. Jason Grosfeld the owner of Irongate himself sold the units to me in the first tower. All the sales agents were telling all the buyers that they are buying one condo here. That was all lie too i JUST FOUND OUT.pLEASE LET ME KNOW WHEN CAN WE TAKE THEM TO COURT TO GET OUR MONEY. IT IS OUR LIFE SAVINGS. MY REALTOR AND JASON NEVER EVEN CALLED ME, I ONLY RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE TITLE COMPANY IN MID JAN.

  57. KIM Says:


  58. Mr.X Says:

    Trump pulls name out of Baja development:

    “The developer late last year informed purchasers that it still was looking for loans and that the purchasers’ deposits, totaling more than $32 million, had been spent, according to a document obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune. ”

    “The developer did not comply with certain terms of the license agreement, including the deadlines to obtain construction financing and begin construction,” Trump’s executive assistant, Rhona Graff, said in an e-mail.

  59. Trump Truth Says:

    I feel sorry for the victims of this 30 million dollar fraud. The owners of Irongate the developer are father and son, James and Jason Grosfeld: The father stole millions from people in a gold coin scam in the 1990s. He only had to pay back around 18 million and kept the rest (>50 million) so the son learned that stealing pays. For more: Or Google grosfeld and multivest. Also, the other principal Adam Fisher stole the money and has fled to Hong Kong and is doing these scams with Trump there: They used the Trump Baja money to make debt payments on the Trump Waikiki project, and as a personal piggy bank. The California Attorney General should be involved.

  60. Triple Jeopardy Says:

    An archetypal Unholy Trinity: Trump, Tijuana, & Terminally-Toast!

    An initial casual glance at the developers’ legal manipulations concerning its structure and marketing wreaks of SCAM. No need to read the fine print.

    How have the bilked purchasers posting on this website managed to acquire sufficient funds to be able to purchase anything?! Have these individuals never heard of due diligence, and real estate attorneys? The level of the naivete exposed here is embarrassing.
    “Trump Truth” is an oxymoron. The data belongs at the top of the calendar, under ‘due diligence’.

  61. anthony Says:

    everyone that purchased a unit on this project was doing it because donald trump was supposed to be involved. they are all victims of a financial crime and these people involved should be arrested. The mexican government should also be involved since it hurts their foreing investments in future projects. You cant pretend your going to build a resort and simply walk away with excuses. I am very shocked at donald trump and will look at him as just another business “shark”.

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