On March 3rd, during the event
Las Terrenas City of God, the people of Las Terrenas received as unexpected news the imminent start of the work of the Golf Course.
On March 18th, the Engineer Maximino BRITO LAZALA, Head of Private Investment Fund for the development of Las Terrenas, President of the Caribbean Investment firm Realty Inc. and Co- president of Century Caribbean Global Venture LLC, received Sylvain MAUFRAIS to give an interview and offer some clarification on the work being done in Las Terrenas with the project of Golf Course. This allowed us to realize that the project is much wider than the Golf course of Las Terrenas and covers the development of the people…
Dear engineer Maximino Brito Lazala, thanks for having us here in your home. On March 3 during the event Las Terrenas City of God, the people of Las Terrenas received as unexpected news the imminent start of the work of the Golf. As you can imagine there have been many questions after the announcement, which we have tried to summarize with the following questions:
I have understood that you are a civil engineer who has many achievements in the country, but could you tell us more about you and the reason for your presence in Las Terrenas ?
With pleasure. It is an honor for me to use the medium broader Las Terrenas has to communicate not only with this beautiful town, but communicate with the Dominican Republic and the world, because I understand that this interview is then transcribed into English, French and stays in Spanish.
Let me tell you that you have asked me a question that is a little difficult to answer because I am essentially a person who was formed by reading the scriptures and believe in the Bible. And in the scriptures he says: Let praise you, and not your own mouth, But this initiative, which wants me to talk a little about what we have done in our years of professional practice and our years of life.
I would say that in order to understand what I have done and say with precision, would have from a very early age. I came to the city of Santo Domingo when he was eight years old, in the midst of a US invasion after the war ended in April, and in that context I was trained and I trained with the hope to see made free country, the great homeland. But at that time, there was a general attitude of youth, which was regarded as the culprit of all our ills US imperialism because they were precisely the times of the Cold War.
That's how I was trained and already at fourteen I was a member of a literary circle and I could write something I recorded it in the cultural club. And of That I remember some verses.
When my children were out of the country and it was my birthday, they called and said we're tired because you always to remember these years of struggle, work in which we all dream of seeing a free, independent and sovereign Dominican Republic, inspired by all the events that had happened before and after the death of Trujillo, seeing what had been the April Revolution, I wrote a piece of what could be called an attempt at poetry at my age, that says I'm tired of seeing the old wall, the same horizon and the beach. I'm tired of the roundness of the globe, tired of seeing a small group of people enjoy what should be everyone’s. Tired of being married with life, and tired of living in the same environment without seeing any change at all. I'm tired of it all. Tired of groaning of the mountains, and the reach of new years, seeing the sad cabin, tired of seeing the strong to hurt the weak.
Today we are here in Las Terrenas, leading an effort that undoubtedly will have a positive impact and will turn Las Terrenas into a tourist center of first order worldwide, I think that song, which was sung at fourteen, it has been the guide of my life, like the common good and do unto others. Even at that age I ran a school of adult literacy, intensely participated in the political activities of the time, but on the way to the process of building what was to be my actions, I found Jesus Christ. And really guide everything I do, what I think and desire, and I think from what I believe, it is that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
In that sense, we could make an immense work, I would say a broad level in different parts of the planet earth. We have had the opportunity to participate in the academic level; we have been teachers of primary, middle, high school, college, specialized courses. We were able to develop in the scientific part, and managed within the College of Engineers, which is where engineers, architects and surveyors are grouped a long work, teaching, trying to instruct referees so that we could use science as a tool work, contrary to the party that has often been the rule that when it comes a new government, or politicians who access ; beguiling professionals, so that instead of acting as agents of change, they become subject submitted by therefore the will of the ruling looking to find something that you can earn it your dignity without giving up.
That work led me to do many things.
That work led me to do many things. Among them, one of the things I can tell you, we have several specialties. Basically I have been a self-taught artisan I 've done, but I've also been a man I have devoted to the study systematically.
One of the things we did in the College of Engineering, in the last thirty years, perhaps are the ones who have done courses on how to make and sell developments. Bone in the area of real estate, not only have the press have done successful projects, but academically, have the honor to say that many of the things that today are being made, were in our conferences and speeches and public statements twenty-five years ago.
When you're from a generation that inspires you in Duarte for example, to look at the big country in the light of what he thought, when you're from a generation that wanted to see social justice done in fairness, when you're from a generation that was not driven by any material good, but it was within a group joined to give whatever was necessary so that he could be the common good, then you are not part of the groups that do the opposite.
If today I am here in Las Terrenas leading an economic effort of the first order, in front of what will be a transformative initiative, it is why I never gave in or gave up. It never made me part of any group or in the private sector, never gave in, but neither did the government.
That is when they were leaving me no space, Because my attitude of doing things was totally different than most of the others, who simply, Secretary of State for Public Works friend, would call them, and often not even know who he was the owner of the work. If the Secretary of Public Works or the Director of Housing, or the Director of Water Resources, or any public official. I do not understand that. For me who handles public funds cannot do business with him.
So in that space we really had to make the decision to break through outside the country. And so it was that made our first formal attempt to bond with pure capitalism in countries where there was a different level of our development, thinking that with all the things we had done, we would be part of the main groups, But when we got to Europe and saw what they were doing Europeans, especially on the Costa del Sol, watching the Spanish development model, we realized without telling anyone at the time, that what we had was a museum on our heads.
The Europeans told us, if you are going to dedicate yourselves to the touristic real-estate area, go to United States, because the European Turists are gradually going to stay in Europe.
Then when I went to United States, it wasn't to visit a cousin in New York, or to Vacation in Miami, I realized that having been clapped so many times in my conferences and public interventions, I was practically a functional illiterate. There the story that made us land here in Las Terrenas.
Can you please give us a little more details about the Golf Course Project ?
In the beginning, the golf course project was a titanic masterpiece, because that project, was at that time the greatest conflict of the lands. There still weren't then regularized lands. So, who started that work made an huge effort to create something that would give Las Terrenas a different face.
Tourism claimed to have a golf course as one of the principal elements, because they did not feel represented and were not satisfied with the other beauties of Las Terrenas and what it could offer.
There already was a golf project development that started in the area of Casa de Campo, and kept on extending to Puerto Plata, and in the east in Punta Cana, Bavaro and there were golf courses all around the Dominican Republic.
So, in the beginning we saw the golf course project as an opportunity. Who presents this opportunity to us ? This is an interesting subject.
We didn't come to Las Terrenas because of a study or because Las Terrenas was the best place to make the investment that we were making. We were brought to Las Terrenas because of the circumstance that Las Terrenas was going through at the moment.
In the heat of the struggle to resolve the electrical problem, one of the most distinguished and honorable citizens of this town, I mean Jacques Dartout, he struggled in battle with the company he had helped found.
Mr. Dartout found himself in an extremely difficult situation, and a mutual friend introduced us, Miguel Franjul.
At that moment, he forgot about the situation he was facing and the situation that he had gone through which everybody knows about and thank God things have been channeled in a peaceful and orderly manner, and the rather than talk about his problem, he wanted to present us, Las Terrenas.
When he presented Las Terrenas to me, I presented our corporate group of investors.
I'll explain: Since we had decided to come to Dominican Republic, and I let him know that the head of the effort we were working on wasn't just the number one real-estate company of the city of New York, but that Cooper-Horwitz Real Estate Financing is the main Real-Estate Company in all United States because they are National Brokers. In United States, the companies are all internal in a state, meaning that for a company to be able to go to another state they need to get a special work permit. This privilege is very limited to a few companies.
We're talking of a company, of an institution, that is at the highest level of capitalism in the real-estate business, which in certain stellar moments place investments between twenty five and thirty thousand millions of Dollars a year, practically double the yearly budget of the Dominican Republic.
So, this is a closed group, a group that never had any initiative towards the Dominican Republic. Any person that has gone to Las Bahamas knows one of the biggest projects of Las Bahamas, a project that cost around seven thousand seven hundred million dollars and the funds for that project was generated by Cooper-Horowitz. I believe its the Atlantis.
But not only that, right now in the United States there is an interesting political situation, they are in the pre-season, where pre-candidates are chosen, then those who are elected within the convention of each of the main parties Democratic and Republican will be presented as candidates for the presidency, and by mid November the new chosen President of the United States will be sworn in on February 2017.
One of these candidates is a well-known person, I mean Donald Trump practically almost all the projects he has done have been generated through the firm Cooper-Horowitz Real Estate Financing. His father before he died, almost all projects that basically did in Brooklyn where he did his business exercise, it was with Cooper-Horowitz, a company of Jews associated since 1964.
We had the privilege to get there, and together we did something extraordinary. I believe the biggest benefit we can provide to the Dominican Republic, not only in the locations where we have an investment commitment, its what we have accomplished.
I want you to know that we have a difficulty here that no other government has had to face; a house like this one or any other emblematic house in Las Terrenas, like Villa del Mar for example, a complex, if I told you to take the titles of that property and go to New York city, Atlanta, Miami or Boston, and you don’t get three hundred thousand Dollars, using those titles as warranty, would you believe me ?
You know why you can’t get it ? Because our properties are not inside the system, there is no Financial Intermediation, meaning the warranty from here, has no value outside the country.
So, that is why you see that when a Dominican, French, German, Italian, Canadian, wants to buy a property here in Las Terrenas, they can’t do it through their international bank to a local bank, but they have to withdraw money; if it’s a Dominican, he has to withdraw the money from New York, either because he mortgage the house, or made saved some money, he has to then move that money to the Dominican republic so he can buy.
So, this situation has created a big difficulty in tourism, even more in realty tourism because the majority of investors bring their money so they can build projects, but the purchase is done with local banks, and in many cases the buyers are Dominican or foreign, they buy with pesos from Local Banks, so those investors take the total capital that was invested, and the winnings in dollars. There we are doing a job that the government is obligated to maintain a balance of payment. Meaning to maintain balance between currencies or exchange money, the dollar recurs to borrowing and the issuance of sovereign bonds and all that mechanism has been rising public debt of the governments we have had.
Why do we make emphasis in who is backing up the initiative we are taking ? Why do we say that the greatest contribution we can make to the Dominican Republic will be that we will do projects in the Dominican Republic that we can sell in united states and a citizen who is in New York, in Atlanta, in Denver, in Washington, Miami or Toronto Canada may buy a property that we are going to do here, as if you were buying in New York or Toronto or Atlanta ?
Because, we have achieved under the leadership of Cooper - Horowitz create a business system that will allow us to do that. But besides that, not only the presence of Cooper - Horowitz Real Estate Financing as the main center but we made the strategic alliance with the leading developer of flat communities of South Florida, Don Sergio Pino.
For those who are watching to have an idea of who is Sergio Pino : During the housing crisis of 2008 Don Sergio Pino was the representative of all home-builders, bone home-builders, of the United States at the White House and congress.
We are talking about a person who to his credit has had two public companies listed on the stock exchange and having founded two banks, including South Florida, U.S. Century Bank's largest community bank.
So the crisis of 2008 brought us, because we had found the support of a Jewish financial group that wanted to make needed investments and that we might have the ability to move those capitals. So in a way, I would say today understand as something that the Lord led, it was not something I went out to look for Sergio Pino, but we are in a very interesting way and made a strategic alliance with your company Century Home Builders of south Florida, who has made more than eighty communities in south Florida - for example in the Doral area, you can see big projects that Sergio Pino has done and Caribbean Investment Realty, which sums up our entire business year, which is a company with corporate headquarters in Florida. That strategic alliance Caribbean Century Global Venture emerged, this is a corporate of that process we had to go to learn systematically, as we can manage in these economic circles and how to understand American business model.
It means that we had to do corporate culture courses, led by flagship institutions and consultants, and the whole process took to be that alliance. With this partnership we Cooper-Horowitz Real Estate Financing, and the fruit of that alliance, which was signed in 2009, has resulted that have integrated with the alliance to very important groups, transcendental companies that are number one in your exercise area not only in the United States.
For example, the person who will come forward, it will take control and will complete the construction of the golf course we do here in Las Terrenas, because not only going to do that field, we are finishing the process acquisition of the golf course, with a significant investment, but we at the golf course, we are annexing another golf course and another nine hole course, but we also made transactions to build on the stretch of Boulevard, in part it has to do from Cosón to Majagua, we will make several golf courses. Which means that we will have, directing and executing this work to nothing more and nothing less than Ron Garl ?
We are bringin Ron Garl for the first time to the Dominican Republic, and he is coming to Las Terrenas to do a world branded project
Now, who is Ron Garl ?
Ron Garl is a person who has made more than 325 golf course projects and exclusive private clubs, not only in the United States, Canada, but right now, is doing a golf course or the king of Morocco. Not only he is doing a golf course for the king of Morocco, but ended up making two golf courses in Shanghai in China. He became the most successful for retired high economic level project called Solivita in Orlando. Ron Garl is the one who made that project. But he also made the headquarters of the Mariot chain in Orlando where there is a very famous golf school, Ron Garl does.
We are bringing Ron Garl for the first time to the Dominican Republic, and he is coming to Las Terrenas to do a world branded project.
The thing is, Ron Garl doesn't work alone. We have managed to put Ron Garl and the biggest Land Planner company in the world together, and when I say it’s the biggest in the world is because it’s a company that has built cities in all five continents since 1934. Its called OBM International. Their standards are in the model of our realty business.
What does Land Planner mean ?
A land planner means that they are people that look at the vocation that a field has to plan and design a City, not just for ten years or twenty, but for fifty and even 100 years.
That’s what Las Terrenas needed first to have a master plan, a direct plan, so that everything got done in the order that it should have been done.
So what we’re talking about is that we have added the effort that we are doing to companies like the ones I’ve mentioned, but we don’t stop there, we need have other companies that have joined us.
Fourteen of the most emblematic companies of Puerto Rico are on the team and work group that is working with us
For example, Puerto Rico United States in Spanish, because Puerto Ricans are under federal laws of Free State association. Fourteen companies of the most emblematic in Puerto Rico are on the team, the group of workers that are working with us.
We are entering Las Terrenas with Merrill Lynch Bank of America, on a level of Private Banking that gives us the level and privilege of having wide facilities for all that we are doing
We don’t stop there, but we have added the most important banking platform of the United States, starting with JP Morgan Chase, which was where we banked our project, but we are also entering Las Terrenas with Merill Lynch Bank of America, at a level of private banking that gives us the level and privilege to have wider facilities or everything we are doing here.
In addition to what I'm telling you, this includes legal companies of the Dominican Republic that have added to us. For example, the company that started for the first time Casa de Campo, the one that traced the very first planes for Casa de Campo, the current director of Casa de Campo, the architect Hugo Quezada Almanzar. His company is part of our group.
The company in the area of potable water and sewage systems of major execution in the last fifty years, Aqueducts and Sewage is also one of the companies that are with us.
On the electrical part, one of the emblematic companies in the electric area also forms part of the team that is with us.
So we have added not only tactical companies, but also on the legal aspect we have let ourselves be assisted by great law firms in the United States and Dominican Republic, we have had with us law firms and prominent lawyers that have helped us land the model in the Dominican Republic.
This is an effort that transcends what is the simple mercantilism (…) all we've done is on a single line. What is that line ? Making Gold Ecological Sanctuary Project
What I mean is this: this is an effort that transcends what is the simple mercantilism, ie a person who lives in Las Terrenas to make a business exercise to make money. We are talking about something that transcends that. We are talking about development; we are talking about the commitment because we have done everything goes in one line. What is that line ? Make Gold Project Ecological Sanctuary.
To do all that, bone create a business model that we can do for the first time in the Dominican Republic, making projects that can sell here in the US as if the project were there. Bone we have solved the problem of financial intermediation, managing to do something that not to do any of those in the real estate business in the Dominican Republic, not even House, which is getting into the market for pre-sale North American.
All we going to do here is previously is pre - sold
That is, everything that we are going to do here previously is pre-sold. So this I'm talking about is something that is not a philosophical exercise, is a strong, clear, precise reality, why this combination and that exercise under the desk of one of the men higher level in the area of real estate that is Cooper - Horowitz in Real Estate Financing is Jeffrey Bijur, with the participation of Sergio Pino, Ron Garl, with the participation of groups that are not noticeable but why are not famous, but they have done their job. For example, one of the most difficult areas was part of insurance, why in the United States, one grows the size of the deposit you can get.
That is, a company that has a bond insurance company a million dollars, that is its size. If you have three, it is three, if it is five is five, if you have ten is ten.
Then in the Dominican Republic that product did not exist or does not exist. There is also what is title insurance, although it does title insurance but not in our law.
So a person who is between us had experience in the insurance area, closed his business here and went with us and today leads an entire insurance product that has allowed us to solve that part, which is that American banks were not give money to the developers if they have a security to guarantee that funds are paying will go to the project.
It has a small company called JA International Insurance LLC it is well known among us, is called Jocelyn Acevedo, she is watching me now, why you are here on the set of recording. As she can you cite others.
In this systematic effort we had to do: I know how to speak English but not English is required to close a business.
All three of my children, my daughter Eva, my son Max and my son Joshua, know perfect English, studied in the United States, then I had to make me always represented by someone who could translate for what I heard, that almost always he understood everything and he was in the lead, taking advantage of what I translated to produce the answer, one of my children.
Then I became four in one, why one could not always deal with me, then had to give them access to that registered were always with me. That gave me the result that now that we have the product made and we are starting to see the fruits, they can be with me and with me that 's what happens with my youngest son, Joshua.
Look, this is a country of good people, of healthy people, but we in terms of what is the development, looking pure capitalism, are far behind, very very very behind.
That delay limits us at the moment of thinking big.
I tell you, the same man that arrived in the capital when he was eight 8 years old, in the middle of the American invasion, that walked in the middle of the street saying death to the Yankee aggressor, death to Yankee invader, that at the age of 14 was a revolutionary militant, that considered the Dominican Republic as an extension of what should have been an independent country, and still considers it to be that. But at that time I had that tool his hands which you are looking at now, is one of the signatures that is needed to open the use of the biggest private funds that has been created in the history of the Caribbean.
Horowitz Real Estate Financing Company's largest real estate businesses in the United States, has made a private fund for investment in the Dominican Republic (… ) in which we are co - president, $ 4 trillion dollars
Without any fear, without any fear I can tell you that we have done under the responsibility and under the process from the first letter to the last, with the signing Cooper - Horowitz Real Estate Financing Company biggest real estate United States, the company has made a private fund for investment in the Dominican Republic and in parts of the Caribbean in the same order in which we are co - chairman of the fund, of $ 4 trillion. 4 trillion dollars is a lot of money.
But more important than that it is that we having already known pure capitalism, we can say without fear or fear that we are president of a firm that has its registration in London, which has under its authority the ability to run financial instruments for many more million dollars that.
What’s always needed, is the spare capital which we over have here. Not only that, but we are part of a firm in Luxembourg also has bonds for many many millions of dollars.
This means that whatever is needed, which is the capital spare us here.
This means that whatever is needed, which is the capital spare us here.
The village of Las Terrenas waits moments of glory
I want to say something to the people of Las Terrenas to be calm and know that what awaits them are moments of glory.
The business model that bring outweighs any corporate action that has been made in Las Terrenas
We come here to give back to the Terreneras who were born here, the people o Las Terrenas, Terreneros and living here, the ability to dream together, because the thought that we bring and the business model that we bring outweighs any corporate action that has been made in Las Terrenas.
That we are selling the golf course, a part of it, they have entrenched themselves in some lawyers who want to show their financial solvency. But for you to have an idea of how this model works, an investment in the town of Constanza, twenty eight million square meters were purchased by a certificate from the bank that my partner at the time and his family had made forty and two percent of the shares, sixty-two cents.
Tucking the entire project, and doing the project with all that should be the model, dividing it into twelve communities to do in ten years, placing on the market of pre- and using funds from the private fund we are doing, what it cost sixty and two cents, now it costs twenty twenty point.
We will not set foot there, until every family that do not receive a correct answer
So those who are financially challenging the action we want to do here, have not realized that the small investment to do here, which are sixty million dollars, which are transcending purchasing the golf course, giving forty-five million ahead and leaving a liability of fifteen, because everyone knows that there is a little difficulty with a demand for a group of families who say that part of the land touches you, and we will not set foot there, until every family that do not receive a correct answer, why come here with the belief that all this struggle can not be to do the same, it has to be to do justice, and our righteousness is pure, why not done at the fair, it comes from heaven is Jesus Christ. – We have already guaranteed in this project, a certified investment of six hundred forty-one million dollars, and we have not entered a tractor to the ground, which means that what we are doing here is making this project beach club beach mountain project.
- END OF THE FIRST PART -
Las Terrenas Live, 04.13.16
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