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Las Olas Ecuador development

No.  I think actions speak louder than words.

Please be silent then! You have no idea what is going on! They have invested much too money in this property to let it go under! Furthermore, why do you feel obligated to post all these negative posts when you have no plans of moving there?  Why would you waste your energy? Not sure where you are coming from! How are you connected to this property and feel so compelled to bash it? Just questions from a concerned expat to Las OIas!

Fair enough.  I've spoken to sales agents on the project.  I was very interested in the project but, for me, there are to many concerns.  Many of my questions weren't answered satisfactorily and it's pretty obvious they rely on continued sales of homes to build out the development because the owner doesn't have the cash.  When I learned about the 20% discounts given to purchasers two months before I was contacted that ended it for me.  I think the risks today are no different than the original purchasers.  I love the concept and was very interested.  View the youtube videos on construction.  September 2015 undergrounds were to begin as was construction.  They are building homes now but still no undergrounds.  Just seems they are having issues they don't want to discuss.  By all means invest and I won't post further unless coerced by a question..good luck to you.

I have been following this thread with great curiosity for some time.  Las Olas was a development that we were considering when my husband and I were interested in investing into a coastal development in South America.  My husband is in construction, nothing of this magnitude to be sure.  However, he did mention that it was so odd to put up homes without any infrastructure at all.  Pictures being posted of the homes going up mean absolutely nothing without water, hydro, sewage, etc.  And I am told that the number 1 most important thing in building on the coast, is water.  No water = no homes ,no golf course, no beach club, no equestrian centre, etc. etc. Also, I learned that an owner does not receive a deed to his/her property, even if paid in full, until all utilities are in, up and running.  There are no promises here that that will happen.  Just a lot of words and assumptions.  So if you want out, you can't, because technically you don't even own what you paid for!  What really put the brakes on for me, was stueyolson's comment that the buyers/investors money was not put into a trust, but used at the developers discretion as they see fit.  Las Olas is a wait and see.  For those that have bought or invested and have faith in this project, I wish you all the best.  However, I think there is a possibility that this project may never be completed.  SWH & CV made the comment that Las Olas has invested too much money in the property to go under.  But the money was never their own . . . . .   I'm going to hang on to mine.

You are right.
Las Olas keep moving dirt around.
One has to keep the eyes wide open and pay attention.

GMistral :

You are right.
Las Olas keep moving dirt around.
One has to keep the eyes wide open and pay attention.

So, do we have any printable updates?

mugtech :
GMistral :

You are right.
Las Olas keep moving dirt around.
One has to keep the eyes wide open and pay attention.

So, do we have any printable updates?

Las Olas Facebook page is the perfect place to get all the latest news about this real estate project on the coast of Ecuador.

You can also access to past newsletters from Las Olas to understand where the project is standing.

yulrun :
mugtech :
GMistral :

You are right.
Las Olas keep moving dirt around.
One has to keep the eyes wide open and pay attention.

So, do we have any printable updates?

Las Olas Facebook page is the perfect place to get all the latest news about this real estate project on the coast of Ecuador.

You can also access to past newsletters from Las Olas to understand where the project is standing.

Thank you

yulrun :
mugtech :
GMistral :

You are right.
Las Olas keep moving dirt around.
One has to keep the eyes wide open and pay attention.

So, do we have any printable updates?

Las Olas Facebook page is the perfect place to get all the latest news about this real estate project on the coast of Ecuador.

You can also access to past newsletters from Las Olas to understand where the project is standing.

I did not enter the facebook page because it requires a registration I do not wish to do.

The latest newsletter I found at the second link is dated September 2016, last month.

It says three homes are under construction.

That statement does not necessarily indicate any above-ground construction.

So  far as I am aware, above-ground construction has not been shown to have occurred at Las Olas.

A PM message I received recently indicates that Las Olas has contracted to deliver for occupancy the first several homes in 2018.

cccmedia in Quito

cccmedia :
yulrun :
mugtech :

So, do we have any printable updates?

Las Olas Facebook page is the perfect place to get all the latest news about this real estate project on the coast of Ecuador.

You can also access to past newsletters from Las Olas to understand where the project is standing.

I did not enter the facebook page because it requires a registration I do not wish to do.

The latest newsletter I found at the second link is dated September 2016, last month.

It says three homes are under construction.

That statement does not necessarily indicate any above-ground construction.

So  far as I am aware, above-ground construction has not been shown to have occurred at Las Olas.

A PM message I received recently indicates that Las Olas has contracted to deliver for occupancy the first several homes in 2018.

cccmedia in Quito

The newsletter shows pictures of rebar on a roof structure, so yes, there is above-ground construction going on at Las Olas...

There is also an image gallery that is frequently updated with pictures of both homes and golf course construction.

[i]“A PM message I received recently indicates that Las Olas has contracted to deliver for occupancy the first several homes in 2018.”

Hello, I have been following this forum for a couple of years, ever since we purchased a lot at Las Olas.  I have noticed that no Las Olas buyers have made any negative comments about the project.  We are buyers and I really can't keep silent about our negative experience any longer.   I find it very interesting that Las Olas emailed you privately that they will deliver homes in 2018 when they have been promising initial buyers that homes will be completed years sooner than that.

We purchased a lot in January of 2015.  We were promised delivery of our home by the end of the year, December, 2015.  It is now December 2016 and there is no home.  We have not been at all satisfied with the information or the treatment that we have received from Las Olas.  The developers have continuously missed promised delivery dates.  Currently there is no built out infrastructure.  There are no utilities in place; that is no water, no electricity, no internet, no telephone, no waste water treatment.  There are no pools, no clubhouses, no pretty green finished golf course; only promises and excuses. We are feeling very misled by the developer and are wondering what is really the truth about the project.

If we had to do it all over again, we would NEVER have purchased a lot in Las Olas.  In fact, we would encourage anyone to avoid investing in a project with no completed homes with utilities functioning, and  existing amenities.

We personally know other buyers at Las Olas who are also very unhappy about the length of time that Las Olas has taken to deliver what was promised.  We have no evidence that they can complete the project. Again, I find it very interesting that Las Olas emailed you privately that they will deliver homes in 2018 when they have been promising initial buyers that homes will be completed years sooner than that. They are 2 years late on their original promise date to us for delivery at the end of 2015.  Is that the kind of developer you want to do business with?

"I have noticed that no Las Olas buyers have made any negative comments about the project"
Does not amazes me.

There is a law in EC that keeps people from saying negative things about almost anybody. Finding the truth is not easy. Las Olas don't even has pictures of how the work is doing, just promises. Some of their offers sound like a fantasy.

truthbtold :

[i]“A PM message I received recently indicates that Las Olas has contracted to deliver for occupancy the first several homes in 2018.”

If we had to do it all over again, we would NEVER have purchased a lot in Las Olas.  In fact, we would encourage anyone to avoid investing in a project with no completed homes with utilities functioning, and  existing amenities.

We personally know other buyers at Las Olas who are also very unhappy about the length of time that Las Olas has taken to deliver what was promised.  We have no evidence that they can complete the project. Again, I find it very interesting that Las Olas emailed you privately that they will deliver homes in 2018 when they have been promising initial buyers that homes will be completed years sooner than that. They are 2 years late on their original promise date to us for delivery at the end of 2015.  Is that the kind of developer you want to do business with?

Unfortunately, I have had similar personal experience with new developments in third world countries and can sympathize with your plight.  I know exactly what you're going through and whether it's financial problems or poor execution by the developer or plain ol' Ponzi scheme (needing more deposits than are coming in to cover salaries and sales, administrative and overhead costs of the promoters) my advise is that you demand a refund and move on.  If they're telling you in 2016 that it will be "sometime in 2018" It'll be 2019 or later (if at all).  Even then, you know full well that the promised amenities we be years from being built.  For all that's good in the world, don't live out your remaining days on Earth waiting for Las Olas to get going.  If all goes well this project is at least 5 years from being close to being capable of being enjoyed by residents.

Thank you for your support and for engaging in this dialogue on such an important topic.  We are curious to see if other Las Olas buyers will join.  We agree with your conclusion that a refund should be requested.  More on our experience with those circumstances, later.

We think you are right about the time it will take to get amenities, if at all.  Very concerning.

truthbtold :

Thank you for your support and for engaging in this dialogue on such an important topic.  We are curious to see if other Las Olas buyers will join.  We agree with your conclusion that a refund should be requested.  More on our experience with those circumstances, later.

We think you are right about the time it will take to get amenities, if at all.  Very concerning.

Again, advice from someone who has been there - grab yours and get out the door before there's a stampede and no money to go around.  Sign whatever they want, such as an agreement to not disparage the project or disclose the settlement.  I worked hard and rallied the troops too and found that there really weren't the number of buyers the promoters stated and that many "buyers" were insiders with an interest in keeping the real facts hidden and to instead post glowing reports and shift the conversation away from delays and concern to the "artist's rendering" of sipping a cool drink looking over the golf course!  For those just tuning in, I am NOT referring to experiences with Las Olas but other pre-construction projects.

The sad thing is that so many of the people who invest are retired and getting ready to retire and they are putting their hard earned retirement savings into the project.  It makes one wonder whether the developers of Las Olas and projects such as the one you were involved in have no regard for how they are affecting the lives of others.  If a developer doesn't adhere to contractual obligations and the claims about their "product" what does that mean?

truthbtold :

The sad thing is that so many of the people who invest are retired and getting ready to retire and they are putting their hard earned retirement savings into the project.  It makes one wonder whether the developers of Las Olas and projects such as the one you were involved in have no regard for how they are affecting the lives of others.  If a developer doesn't adhere to contractual obligations and the claims about their "product" what does that mean?

Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and conclude they did not intend to commit fraud or even breach their contracts and representations.  Let's say they tried (and are trying) to fulfill their promises. Your point is valid no matter what.  This project is for someone in their 50s with enough financial resources that losing their deposit will not hurt their future or hinder their plans.  For others, I am concerned that the clock ticking will be getting louder and louder as the years go by for them and their idyllic retirement fades away.

GMistral :

"I have noticed that no Las Olas buyers have made any negative comments about the project"
Does not amazes me.

There is a law in EC that keeps people from saying negative things about almost anybody. Finding the truth is not easy. Las Olas don't even has pictures of how the work is doing, just promises. Some of their offers sound like a fantasy.

The law doesn't prevent from saying something negative. It prevents from saying lies and providing untrue statements.

The info provided by cccmedia that contractually Las Olas as no obligation to deliver a house before 2018. That's a fact. That said, Las Olas is currently building homes which will be delivered at the beginning of 2017, which means that some homes will be delivered one year prior of the contractual delivery dates.

Las Olas is using Facebook extensively to keep buyers, prospects and general public aware of it's development status. Please visit https://m.facebook.com/LasOlas.ecu/ for many weekly updates.

Las Olas also publishes a monthly newsletter. Archives can be seen here: http://lasolasecuador.com/las-olas-newsletters/

Moreover, nearly no one bought at Las Olas without actually visiting the property and meeting with our team. We simply don't allow that and welcome  everyone to see if Las Olas is for them or not.

A 1,621 residences project can't have a perfect record with buyers who are changing their mind after buying. When you sign a contract, you need to abide to the terms and conditions of the contract. Unfortunately, social medias and forums are easy targets when comes time to bash and spread lies online in order to put pressure and get a settlement. The person who follows an online blog doesn't sign up the day she/he post their first comments when they follow it for years.

As I stated previously in this thread, I'm Pascal Laflamme, director of marketing and Las Olas and future resident. For those of you who would like to see my personal story (which a lot of people here are aware of) please visit my blog at http://vivalasolas.com

DId you Read the terms and conditions in the cotract you signed with the developer? If questions existed you should have asked and assured clarity of information before you signed the document. Addidtionally, are you aware of a major geolgical event ( the April Earthquake ) which devasted many coastal communities a short time ago? There was a significant loss of life and cities and towns existing infrastructure crippled. If you have a problem raise it on Las Olas Friends and Neighbors Face Book page. Perhaps the community can help you in someway.

“A 1,621 residences project can't have a perfect record with buyers who are changing their mind after buying. When you sign a contract, you need to abide to the terms and conditions of the contract.”

It is my understanding that the purpose of this forum is for people to share their experiences of the Las Olas project.  Most companies welcome comments by customers and are interested in having the opportunity to share their customer service policies with the public.  One can log onto websites such as Amazon, or large developments in North America, and see comments from people who are satisfied customers as well as comments from customers who are not satisfied.  Potential customers can then make decisions about whether to buy based on the actual experiences that other customers have had.  Perhaps Pascal would like to share the Las Olas customer service policy with the readers.

My comments are intended to express our experience as buyers at Las Olas.  Pascal, you were not on the sales team that we worked with when we purchased at Las Olas, so perhaps you are not really familiar with what was told to us.  As I stated in my original post, Las Olas told us that our home would be delivered in a year.  It is now almost 2 years since that statement was made and there is no home.  For the record, we were also told verbally and in written communication from Las Olas to all buyers that the beach club construction would be started in the summer of 2016.

When we expressed our concerns to Las Olas we were told in person and in writing that Las Olas would do specific things to satisfy our concerns and the request that we made.  Las Olas did not keep those commitments to us either.  So, my customer comment is that Las Olas has not kept their initial commitment to deliver our home within a year and they have not kept subsequent verbal and written commitments to us.  Readers can decide if that comment is useful to them or not.

Pascal, you stated, [i]“When you sign a contract, you need to abide to the terms and conditions of the contract.”

I am interested in your comment quoted here.  I did not mention anything about our contract.  I simply asked the question, “If a developer doesn't adhere to contractual obligations and the claims about their "product" what does that mean?”   Are you suggesting that there is something in the terms and conditions of the Las Olas contract that is different from what Las Olas promised or assured verbally to customers?  Perhaps you could explain what you mean by that comment. 

You also stated, “Las Olas also publishes a monthly newsletter. Archives can be seen here: http://lasolasecuador.com/las-olas-newsletters/” 
Can the reader and the customer assume that what Las Olas states in the newsletters is fact?  We as buyers assumed that what Las Olas published in newsletters and on the website was fact and we made our decisions based on that information.  For example, Las Olas published a newsletter in November 2014 that stated the following about the municipal water source for Las Olas:

[i]“The pipeline that supplies Bahia was recently built and the old line was used to provide water to the various communities along the route. While Bahia has some water issues, it is largely due to the infrastructure of water lines underneath the city, not the incoming pipeline or water supply.
The water is drawn from the Rio Carrizal which starts in the highlands. It is treated at the plant and in fact many of the five gallon bottles of drinking water that companies sell in the area come straight from this plant. The government is in the process of doubling the capacity of the plant from the current 30,000 cubic meters per day. They have committed that Las Olas will have all the water to meet its current and future requirements. We are currently conducting a study to determine the feasibility and environmental impact. It should be completed within the next thirty days. Initial estimates have the system being totally functional within three months from the start of construction of the system. This would preserve our aquifer for golf course irrigation.”

So, again we ask, can readers assume that what is published in the newsletters is fact? As current buyers of Las Olas we are concerned that since November 2014, Las Olas has not answered our questions about the plan for municipal water at Las Olas to our satisfaction since the current facts are not consistent with what we were led to believe when we purchased.  The fact is that we have a certificate from the city of Bahia that states as of August 4, 2016, Las Olas did not have an agreement with the city to deliver water to Las Olas.  The certificate also states that there is no municipal water service in the area.  We will be happy to supply a copy of it to any reader and to the moderator of the forum for the archives. So, as Marketing Director, perhaps you can supply the reader with the facts about how Las Olas plans to supply municipal water to the homes that you state will be delivered in 2017.

You also stated, [i]“Unfortunately, social medias and forums are easy targets when comes time to bash and spread lies online in order to put pressure and get a settlement.”  It would be helpful for you to explain how what we have stated is bashing and spreading lies. We would also ask, is it good customer service to accuse customers of bashing and spreading lies?  If Las Olas has a goal of providing good customer service one would assume that Las Olas would want to satisfy direct and valid questions of buyers and prospects so that customers would be happy with their experience.  Satisfying customers generally insures that buyers will be promoters of the project to grow the business. 

Lastly, you stated,[i] “The law doesn't prevent from saying something negative. It prevents from saying lies and providing untrue statements.” All we have done is to share the documented facts of public record, and to simply state that we are not satisfied with our experience as Las Olas buyers.  What we have stated is not liable and is our legal right to express.

For some reason can't quote any of the post from truthbtold, but that is some new, and interseting insight about the water issue. That has been a concern brought up in many previous posts.

Sounds like the earthquake caused a delay of unknown length.  The earthquake was so powerful and destructive that it caused delays BEFORE the quake actually happened.

Dear truthbtold,

I will not continue to comment on your posts as you are aware you have not be an owner since earlier this year and we are currently involved in contract arbitration with you and I understand there may also be an investigation regarding your recent actions.

You are right, I wasn’t involved with Las Olas when you purchased, but I have access to your customer file in which I found the attached email dated January 29th, 2015 received from your husband prior to you signing your contract. (I’m attaching the original email less email addresses and your last names for respect of confidentially)

You know that English is my second language, but that’s clear enough for me that you and your husband were suggesting without a doubt that Las Olas would have three years (and potential up to five years upon mutual agreement) to deliver your lot with all services which brings us into 2018.

In regards of water, you are misleading people. Las Olas does have its water supplies approved by the province. But you are right to say that water pipe do not go up to the property yet. No one is living there at the moment, so it’s up to Las Olas to plan and execute the water plan at it’s own discretion. Same applies to electricity and telecom (although the electricity lines are approved and are currently being installed. Be sure to check out our Facebook page to see pictures of the work in process 

Individuals who would like to receive a copy of the provincial water approval can contact me privately.

It is unfortunate when people attempt to use social media to manipulate the truth to further their own personal agendas, but I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1jgkQO9PXweek9rT3pxY3F6UFk/view?usp=sharing

The internet is a wonderful resource while it can create the professional polished illusion of grandeur for a small company,  it also provides a record of historic activity and facts.

A quick review of the facts for the development of Los Olas  Ecuador :

Los Olas business strategy is leveraging all their infrastructure development expenses on attracting new  home owners funding this portions of the project as they move along. "Just in time" development is not a way for the developer to develop "good will".   It also  exposes the club members and future home  owners to the highest risks.   In fact the government of Ecuador created new legislation preventing the sale of new developments until the developer has all infrastructure in place – hence the marketing of a " club membership promising a future home " 

http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=220093

In June 2013  claims were made to have  " purchased  earth movers that are on a boat from China. " They should be in next week.   To date the single earth mover used is a rental from a local firm.

This development started in 2009 as indicated by David Makysmuik and Randy Russ.  The developers have no previous track record or experience in this type of development nor any other business in Latin America.  A young european entrepeuner was enticed by their slick promises and invested over $ 100 k in high tech equipment to open a factory in Manta to build all the windows and mirrors for this development.  He closed and moved to Colombia over five years ago !   

After all this time, you still have an opportunity to pay in advance for housing in an undeveloped development being developed by unexperienced developers who are really, really trusted.

Buyers beware you are buying a " founders club membership " with a  promise of a future home.  Your contract is not legally enforceable in Ecuador.  You do not have any registered claim to any property . 

While a professional polished sales presentation and website is presented sales levels currently are marginal and no where near the level to make the development a success.

This beautiful property is secluded and remote,  limited access,  no power, water, or electricity services exist to the development as of today.  Although many announcements and promises have previously been made ( see below ) currently wells will be drilled for water, and solar panels used for electricity -  this is called " off the grid living "

Sustainable living does not mean building a " giant housing development and golf course " in a pristine dry coastal forest  area where even the local community has had scarce water resources for the last 50 years.

The coasts of Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, and Costa Rica  are littered with these speculative developments that remain unfinished and now lay bare of vegetation.

Staff turnover has been extremely high from the professional golf course designers, consultants, engineers, sales personnel, to manual labourers.


The Las Olas website indicated " We expect to commence construction of our first homes in the second half of 2014.  Initial homes will take four months to construct."

"electricity  and water will be coming from Bahia, the municipality is working on changing the water pipeline in Bahia to a larger one. "

Subsequently " Los Olas anticipates to have the golf course completed by October 2015 and playable by March 2016. "

The first phase anticipates to house (combination of single dwelling and condos) approximately 3,500 people.  This is a strata community with rules, by-laws and monthly fees.   With current sales levels at   2 %  ......

Thank you Bahia Bob.

The hounds are loose; how long till the 'coon' is treed?

I kind of sympathize with Los Olas. Five years of my life 1988 to 1993
put me 'up a tree', with the loss of our twenty five year old 10 acre farm, 25 year marraige and about 1/2 m$., trying to get a 480 acre Vista Hills Golf Resort off the ground.
Lots of work, worry and money spent on shysters and 'whiners'.
Lonecowboy

Thank you Bahia Bob, I like seeing posts like this because it provides me an opportunity to discuss the actual facts and clear up any misinformation that may be floating around or total lack of factual information that can be found in your post. It is certain from your post that you have never been to Las Olas, so I would like help clear up the misinformation that you have obviously been provided and I would suggest that you meet with me and get a tour of Las Olas so I can help you get the correct factual information so you can make informed statements about Las Olas in the future.

I will address your post point by point:

The internet is a wonderful resource while it can create the professional polished illusion of grandeur for a small company,  it also provides a record of historic activity and facts.

Agree that it can do both. It can also be a dangerous place where totally unqualified individuals (ie. never even been to Ecuador, lack knowledge about developing in a country like Ecuador or lack of knowledge of a particular project), individuals with alternative motivations ( have their own competing interests) or just plain internet trolls (just looking for a platform to be heard and spew negative thoughts). I would suggest that you ignore these three groups and do your own due diligence when making purchasing decisions.   

A quick review of the facts for the development of Los Olas  Ecuador :

Los Olas business strategy is leveraging all their infrastructure development expenses on attracting new  home owners funding this portions of the project as they move along. "Just in time" development is not a way for the developer to develop "good will".   It also  exposes the club members and future home  owners to the highest risks.   In fact the government of Ecuador created new legislation preventing the sale of new developments until the developer has all infrastructure in place – hence the marketing of a " club membership promising a future home "


Regarding the fact that Los Olas business strategy is leveraging all their infrastructure development expenses on attracting new home owners, let me tell you that Las Olas developers have up to now invested several millions of dollars and are still funding operations. We had expected launch our main sales strategy in April 2016, but due to natural circumstances beyond our control this was delayed. Las Olas doesn't have any debt which is pretty unusual for a project of this size, but not uncommon in Ecuador where interest rates on loans can approach 12%. Yes, Las Olas does use deposits from purchasers to help subsidize working capital as is a normal business practice in Ecuador because of its credit practices.

You are correct to say that the Government of Ecuador had attempted to create a new legislation to prevent project to be sold without all infrastructure in place. This seems to be a very good idea on paper, but unfortunately it was seen to limit the development in Ecuador given current banking practices and was scrapped. Once again I would ask that you please check the fact and not merely uninformed providers of information in the future.

Las Olas develops 1,621 residences on 1,650 acres of land and no developer would be crazy enough to put all infrastructures and roads in place before selling one single property. Moreover, at Las Olas, people can't buy only a lot, they also enter into a construction agreement, which guarantees the place will eventually be build. On the coast of Ecuador, you can find several projects with all infrastructures in place, with all lots being sold and with only 2-3 homes build after 10 years. Las Olas do not allow land speculation because we are building a community, not solely an infrastructure.

http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=220093

In June 2013  claims were made to have  " purchased  earth movers that are on a boat from China. " They should be in next week.   To date the single earth mover used is a rental from a local firm.


Regarding earth movers and equipment, this was one statement that clearly tells me that you have not been to the Las Olas site. However, if you visit their website or Facebook page you can clearly see pictures of “much more” then a single piece of earth moving equipment. At times there has been upwards of twenty-five pieces of equipment operating at the same time.

This our scraper that came in from the United States
http://lasolasecuador.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/20130922_112323.jpg

Las Olas owns several pieces of heavy equipment, from excavators, to bulldozers, to dump trucks, ect., on top of renting many locally when needed. Actually, we have three full-time mechanics on site to perform maintenance on all the equipment that we own.

In the future, I would ask that you please check your facts before making such outlandish statements.

This development started in 2009 as indicated by David Makysmuik and Randy Russ.  The developers have no previous track record or experience in this type of development nor any other business in Latin America.  A young european entrepeuner was enticed by their slick promises and invested over $ 100 k in high tech equipment to open a factory in Manta to build all the windows and mirrors for this development.  He closed and moved to Colombia over five years ago !   

You are right to say that David Maksymuik and Randy Russ do not have any experience in Latin America, but for your interest, Randy Russ owns construction companies in the US for over 35 years that currently have is license in 19 states. Last year alone his companies built over 35 medical clinics, several Micheals and Bed, Bath & Beyond stores along with multiple other projects across the United States. While David Maksymuik has lived in Ecuador for the past four years managing the Las Olas project, he previously had worked for one of the largest renewable energy\construction companies as well as Duke Energy (one of the largest and most respected power companies in the world) in North America for over 15 years.

Everyone can access our management team bios (http://lasolasecuador.com/our-team/). Without the presence of Randy and David, our homes wouldn't have drilled piers, our foundations wouldn't be that thick, there wouldn't be rebar columns and windows would have been much cheaper quality. I'm very happy that Las Olas is run by North Americans who are building for North Americans.

With regards to a young European entrepreneur, I asked both Randy and David about that and they said that they are unware of any young European entrepreneur that they enticed to open up a window factory based on their promises (I am sorry, “their slick promises”) that closed his business and moved to Columbia over five years ago. Given that Las Olas did not finalize a Master Plan or even work at the site until three years ago I find whoever told you this might have been mistaken.

They were aware however of a slightly older (near retirement age) European gentleman named Volkhard, a German engineer who opened a window factory in San Jacinto a little over 2 years ago to build high-quality German PVC windows using top quality German PCV profiles and hoped to include Las Olas as a possible future client. Having become frustrated by the high tariffs for bringing the profiles to Ecuador he decided to sell his operation and move to the United States. Las Olas decided to purchase the company and all its high-quality manufacturing equipment which ensured that they could install the highest possible quality PVC windows in their residence. In fact, Volkhard still consults with the company. 

After all this time, you still have an opportunity to pay in advance for housing in an undeveloped development being developed by unexperienced developers who are really, really trusted.

People are not paying in advance for their housing, this is completely untrue. They are buying a lot (which can be financed) and agree to sign a construction contract at a pre-determined rate for the next three years (and I'm announcing you that it's will eventually come down to two years sometimes in 2017). And when you say inexperienced developers, I wish you can discuss 15 minutes with Randy Russ to see how knowledgeable someone inexperienced can be.

Further, the individuals who did not take your advice and purchase have all seen significant appreciation in the value of the investment they have made based on the price they paid versus current pricing. I wish all my investments could appreciate so well.

Buyers beware you are buying a " founders club membership " with a  promise of a future home.  Your contract is not legally enforceable in Ecuador.  You do not have any registered claim to any property . 

First of all, Las Olas is sorry to say there are no Founders Club memberships available anymore, they all sold out fairly quickly. Second, with regards to the contracts, all contracts are fully legal and notarized in Ecuador. They can be enforced in Ecuador, ask truthbtold! Third, the contract does provide the purchaser a legal registered claim to their purchased property. The Las Olas contract has been reviewed over and over again by lawyers acting on behalf of purchasers as well as our own legal team. When in doubt, get a legal opinion.

While a professional polished sales presentation and website is presented sales levels currently are marginal and no where near the level to make the development a success.

Not entirely sure how can you comment about our sales figures? Where are you getting your numbers from? Las Olas currently has two communities open of sales, Las Playas and Vista al Mar (plus one condo building in Campos de golf, but that is about to change in 2017 with the release of our townhouses with an amazing inner Spanish courtyard properties). Las Playas is over 75% sold and Vista al Mar is 33% sold. Be aware that we didn't release all properties for sales. Availability can be seen on our interactive map (http://lasolasecuador.com/interactive-map/)

This beautiful property is secluded and remote,  limited access,  no power, water, or electricity services exist to the development as of today.  Although many announcements and promises have previously been made ( see below ) currently wells will be drilled for water, and solar panels used for electricity -  this is called " off the grid living "

In regards of sustainable living, first of all Las Olas is only constructing on 20% of 1,650 acres, leaving 80% as green space complete with walking, biking and horseback riding trails and includes a 650 acres private nature reserve. The golf course is being called one of the best in South America by experienced golf experts and required nearly no earth movement. Most of the golf course is built on former agricultural land and will be irrigated using brackish water found on the property and can also be used to control weeds reducing the need for chemicals. Solar power will be the #1 source of energy for the project and will be backup up by the public grid and it's currently being installed:

http://lasolasecuador.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Electric-poles-installed.png

The project is also car free and will take advantage of the newest waste water treatment practices to manage both waste and grey water recycling.

People who are buying are asking questions and we have all authorizations in place for all utilities.

We are using our financial resources the way we think is more efficient. Our partner David Maksymuik has been the CFO of two companies involved in sustainable energy, has been controlling finances for companies for over 30 years, has assisted in taken several companies public and has he managed billions of $ of successful infrastructure investments. What's your background by the way?

Sustainable living does not mean building a " giant housing development and golf course " in a pristine dry coastal forest  area where even the local community has had scarce water resources for the last 50 years.

We just have differing opinions on what constitutes sustainable living.

The coasts of Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, and Costa Rica  are littered with these speculative developments that remain unfinished and now lay bare of vegetation.

You are right to say that many projects are unfinished on the Pacific coast, but for your information, the same exist in the US, Canada and throughout the world. No one is protected from a bad project going all wrong.

Staff turnover has been extremely high from the professional golf course designers, consultants, engineers, sales personnel, to manual labourers.

I don't know what are you referring to in terms of staff turnover. Maybe you meant that we parted ways with one of your friends who you believed was highly competent. And then, told you how bad we are and you took them for granted? Yes, Las Olas is a word-class project and we surround ourselves with people who can sustain that statement. Unfortunately, over the years, some of our employees showed that they are better when talking, then when doing. They are not with us anymore, but we are currently one of the largest employers in the Bahia area and very few of them have been replaced.

In fact, our turnover by any standard has been extremely low. We still have the original professional golf course designer, same sales professional team, same architects and engineering staff, same legal team and same purchasing team we had from the start. We have replaced some consultants over the years as we felt compelled to do because of either the work was completed or we felt they were a poor fit.   

The Las Olas website indicated " We expect to commence construction of our first homes in the second half of 2014.  Initial homes will take four months to construct."

"electricity  and water will be coming from Bahia, the municipality is working on changing the water pipeline in Bahia to a larger one. "

Subsequently " Los Olas anticipates to have the golf course completed by October 2015 and playable by March 2016. "

The first phase anticipates to house (combination of single dwelling and condos) approximately 3,500 people.  This is a strata community with rules, by-laws and monthly fees.   With current sales levels at   2 %  ......


You are also right to say that Las Olas didn't meet their initial forecasts. But please keep in mind that is what they were, forecasts. There are several reasons why projects take longer to construct ranging from government red tape, to incorrect forecasts, to unexpected events such as land disputes or natural disasters. That is why every initial buyer was told and every initial contract stated that Las Olas could require up to five years to deliver the first homes. 

But, the truth is we have planned for shit to happen and this is why none of our contracts set a committed delivery date before 2018. The truth is we will have many properties delivered in 2017, so depending where you stand, you could say that we are doing better than the worst case scenario.

The high likelihood of the never to materialize El Nino in 2015, the actual El Nino in 2016 and the April 2016 earthquake are examples of shit can happen.

The fact that new homes are presently under construction and the Las Olas specific power lines are being run down Pajonal Road as I am writing this response shows that we are continuing to execute on the Las Olas master plan.

The other good news is that our golf course is going along very well and is probably even better than what we even envisioned. 12 holes out of 18 have ocean views and it's truly a spectacular layout. Feel free to have a look at some of the drone shots we took while in construction (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P … I_hHm4JAHI).

And yes, it's a private course and people buying today get the membership initiation fee included. We have a nursery growing Paspalum grass near Canoa and we are about to seed the first greens on the back nine so they can grow strong during the rainy season.

Bahia Bob, hopefully this helps clears up some of the misconceptions and incorrect facts that you have been told. Like I mentioned earlier, I would be /!\ I AM A STUPID SPAMMER /!\ and arrange a personal tour of Las Olas if you wish. Just sent me a private message and I am at your disposal. Anyone one else that would like to learn more about Las Olas can certainly contact me as well.`

I think everything he says is probably true.  But I agree with the comment that this is an investment for someone in their early fifties as it will take at least 10 years for the project to get to a point where you will want to live there...

Buried in that remarkably lengthy sales pitch is this:

"Yes, Las Olas does use deposits from purchasers to help subsidize working capital as is a normal business practice in Ecuador because of its credit practices.

You are correct to say that the Government of Ecuador had attempted to create a new legislation to prevent project to be sold without all infrastructure in place. This seems to be a very good idea on paper, but unfortunately it was seen to limit the development in Ecuador given current banking practices and was scrapped. "

It is important that those who buy an unfinished project are fully aware of this practice by this and many builders.

To the best of my knowledge, the requirements that infrastructures such as water, sewers, and electric be in place as well as updated deeds in accordance with new urbanization documenting ownership have not "scrapped" and perhaps this writer could provide his proof of that statement.

Caveat emptor, buyer beware.

I did background checks on the principals of this development.  Nothing of concern showed up.  I don't think Russ as enough of construction experience to say he can build this out.  It's much larger than anything he has done before.   David was a food service guy so that means nothing.  But I don't think they are crooks....I think they may deliver, but it will be years and years later than they are estimating.  If i was in charge, I'd build the medical center now as that is the most important aspect from my perspective.  And I wouldn't buy a lot until the golf course if functional.

Dear Yulrun, I would like to respond to some false statements that you made in your post.  As you have said it is not acceptable to post untrue or unfounded statements.  We are very alarmed that you would make the false statement that we are not owners at this time. We are most certainly fully paid and legal owners of a lot at Las Olas.  As such we have a right to share our experiences as owners and we will continue to share our experiences with others so they may be more informed.

The second misstatement that you made was that I have somehow mislead readers.  The fact is that you stated in your post,  "But you are right to say that water pipe do not go up to the property yet”.  So you agree with my comment that LO currently has no municipal water and that there are no municipal water lines on the property.  You also are freely confirming that at this time there are no electrical, telephone, or internet services on the property, although "electrical lines are  being installed." That is good for potential buyers to know.  There was absolutely nothing misleading about what I stated.  Buyers are interested in realistic timelines.

We cannot confirm whether or not we are involved in any legal actions with Las Olas.  For you to make a statement that an owner is involved in arbitration is completely unethical and a breach of the confidentiality of the legal process of arbitration.  It is a serious breach of legal confidentiality to refer to terms or conditions of a specific contract, if that contract is in dispute.  Again, I am not confirming that there is an arbitration process currently, but we are shocked that you would make such comments.

We also consider your comment that we “may” be under investigation without providing any evidence or proof of your comment to be slander and completely unprofessional.   

My purpose in posting comments here is to provide readers with a personal accounting of our experience with Las Olas as buyers and current owners.  The purpose is not to discuss legal issues.  My point has been that we were told our home would be ready in 2015 and it is not.  We have also stated that the experience of doing business with Las Olas has been unsatisfactory to us.  I hope the readers have benefited from the information that I have provided.  As many have stated on this forum, it is very difficult to find good and factual information. The readers can make their own determinations about the information that you have provided.

Dear Susan in Ecuador, this is good information for buyers to know.  It is really hard for buyers to do all the research necessary to make a good decision about buying.  We all do the best we can, but sometimes there are questions that we just don't even know we should ask.  Actually having all utilities connections in place and functioning before purchasing seems like a really good idea.  But, it is easy to get swept away in the emotion of fulfilling a dream.

Realistic timelines is the key.  Really getting specific documented timelines from the builder/developer can help to avoid a lot of misunderstandings and frustration.

I originally reserved a lot in vista al mar.  I wanted their smaller home and so the lots for that were limited.  I was told it would be ready in two years.  I planned to fly down there but kept watching their website, this blog, and other social media.  I wasn't impressed with the delays they were having with the three homes they are constructing.  Come April/May it will be a full year since they broke ground on these homes; and there still isn't any infrastructure installed.  At the rate they are building homes, I would project it could be 7 to 10 years before delivery.  If at all.  The next phase of homes for delivery will be in Las Playas, which has 40 lots and several condominium complexes.   How long do you think it will take for them to complete that phase of the project, when it takes a year to build three homes (that won't have water, sewer, electricity, etc.)?

I wanted to make certain my funds would be held in escrow until the home was completed and they could not do that.  The funds would be used for the development with no guarantees.  That was it for me.  Of course, by waiting for the infrastructure to be in place, I would lose out on their sale package and my home would jump in cost by $40,000. 

I asked about the medical center, when will that be completed?  I was told construction would begin shortly.  That was in August 2016 and, from what I know, it hasn't broken ground. 

I don't think it is accurate for their sales department to say everyone's purchases have greatly improved in value.  Until you have a liveable community, one with water, sewer, internet, electricity, etc., you own a piece of dirt that could just as well be located on the moon.  They have adjusted their business model to now finance 80% of the lot cost, with a zero interest rate and a 24 month payment schedule.  I keep tabs on their master plan map and very few homesites have sold in Vista al Mar since I dropped out; although the lot I originally signed up for has been taken.

I can imagine putting this project all together is very challenging.  And if Ecuador is like most third world countries I have visited, things just don't get done as quickly as they do here in the US.  Not even close for that matter.  But my advice is pay the extra cost and keep your money until the infrastructure is complete, the golf course is open for play, and they have the medical center operational.  Don't listen to their sales department as they seem to over promise and under deliver.

I should probably add, and i should emphasize i don't think they are crooks, but when someone asks me to fork over money that is not held in escrow with no guarantee the home is built, then it is like i,m assuming the risk of the development.  i just don't trust others to take care of my money better than i do.  And you should not either.  This may be the way things work there, as the sales guy said, but i'm not interested. 

Actually, borrowing at 12%, as he says is prohibitive, would be a good thing for the development.  i have known many people that borrowed 12% in the usa and did very well.  So that isn't a reason for them not to borrow money, get it done (in phases of course) and get it done.  i'm sorry for those that purchased already, but you might be losing your money..

***  Good luck to everyone.  I'm staying in the USA.  Trump won and i want to stay here and be apart of the USA's spectacular rise.....

Moderated by Priscilla 8 months ago
Reason : inappropriate comment
truthbtold :

But, it is easy to get swept away in the emotion of fulfilling a dream.

Very true words. As humans we are emotional. Emotions play a huge role in our life, and in our decision making. Sometimes for the better, but often times to our detriment. One of the dangers of emotions is sometimes we get tunnel vision, and only hear what we want to hear, and see what we want to see. And it works both ways. Any pro Las Olas people will hear what they want, and any negative Las Olas people will hear what they want. What is the truth in it all? Hell if I know. Can only try, and take what information is available from both sides, and try to make an educated decision.

Plenty of opinions as to what Las Olas will be in the future, but at this point I don't think anyone can really say with much certainty what the ultimate outcome will be.

I see this forum has turned unnecessarily hostile from people who are not invested in Las Olas or its outcomes, are not and are not likely to become expats, and this is truly unfortunate. Having just returned from Ecuador I have seen much progress since the earthquake - I was there for that - and I see much progress at Las Olas. Its maybe not for everyone - no doubt some have differing views. I appreciate Yulrun's attempts to provide some factual updates to the forum - but am not sure how much value there is in continuing to monitor this discussion group when much of what I see is disinformation and rank speculation. Its becoming a feeling reading some of the input like the 'deaf leading the blind' when I see some of the comments posted by people with no firsthand knowledge of activities at Las Olas or in Ecuador.

The stated concerns are vey real as one need only drive the coast here to see many development dreams lost.......in addition there seems to be sufficient development promises come and gone with Las Olas that cry out warning.....
Who knows what will become of it........that said, why risk investment if this is a question.

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