Barbados Four Seasons project hit by another lawsuit
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday, February 2, 2012 – Even as developers and the Barbados government explore local and international financing options to re-start the beleaguered Four Seasons project, reports coming out of Ireland are that another lawsuit has been levelled against the development.
The Irish media reported this morning (February 2) that TULLOW Oil chief Aidan Heavey is suing the developers of the luxury hotel and villa complex in Barbados after construction stalled following the credit crunch.
Heavey, 58, from Castlerea, Co Roscommon, was among several high-profile figures who invested millions of euro in properties at the planned Four Seasons resort at Clearwater Bay in Barbados -- a development that aimed to rival the Sandy Lane resort owned by Irish businessmen Dermot Desmond and John Magnier.
Many of the world's rich and famous splashed out on deposits for the homes at the sprawling 32-acre Paradise Beach site.
Early investors in the project, who it is said paid deposits of up to 40%, included Formula 1 boss Eddie Jordan, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and 'X-Factor' mogul Simon Cowell.
The 36 villas in the original plan were to be the ultimate in luxury living - ranging from 10,000 to 20,000sq ft each and designed to include private pools, indoor ponds stocked with small sharks, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Construction of the project stalled in 2010 as finance dried up and sales of its private villas slowed.
It is reported that Universal Music's Lucian Grange has also filed legal actions in the Barbados Supreme Court. Heavey and Grange are said to be demanding to recover deposits they put down for luxury homes at the planned resort.
Heavey was among the super-rich investors in the complex, which was spearheaded by British born developer Mike Pemberton and property guru Robin Paterson.
However, many of the investors are now seeking the return of their deposits after the "Platinum Coast" project stalled.
Legislation was required to guarantee the liabilities of Clearwater Bay Ltd, a company controlled by the government, to facilitate the resumption of the Four Seasons Development project.
The Guarantee of Loan Act allowed the repayment of some US$34m to the Bank of Scotland, which pulled out of the deal in 2009.
Most recently the new man at the helm, Professor Avinash Persaud, disclosed that Paradise Beach Limited was on the verge of securing the last US$5 million needed to restart construction at Four Seasons.
So far, it has secured a US$30 million investment from the National Insurance Scheme, US$5 million from Four Seasons, and US$90 million from the IDB – in addition to a US$60 million Government-guaranteed loan from the ANSA Merchant Bank in Trinidad and Tobago.