Features — 01 October 2013 — by Adele Ramos
Luke Espat’s Renaissance Tower on selling block

Renaissance Tower—the 8-storey full-service luxury condominium complex which the Belize Bank had taken over from businessman Luke Espat after his financing arrangements with the bank ran into trouble—is billed for sale by public auction this Thursday, October 3.

In 2010, the bank assumed control of Espat’s Crocland recreational enterprise, and last year, in 2012, an affiliate of the bank, Private Investment Limited of the Turks and Caicos, took over control of Port of Belize.

When Crocland was seized by the bank, indications were that Renaissance – a project initially billed at US$18 million – located at 8 Newtown Barracks area, was not included in the foreclosure.

When the Port was seized last year, Espat had then indicated that the simultaneous takeover of the Renaissance was part of the settlement plan with his bankers, and they had agreed on the divestment of what was not earning money, while the bank would get to finish the cruise port, and Port of Belize would continue with the commercial port.

“We had built Crocland; we had built Renaissance: It was all a part and parcel of a big project,” said Espat, also listing the free zone and building of the cruise terminal at the Port.

After putting Crocland under receivership, he said, the movable assets were sold “10 cents on the dollar.” However, the Renaissance is still functioning and paying its way, he had told us.

A recent notice by the Belize Bank says that the property, owned by Renaissance Tower Management Company Limited, constitutes 29 units on 1,348 square feet.

Meanwhile, PIL is still holding the Port of Belize in receivership.

In related finance news, the Atlantic Bank has appointed Ret’d General Robert Garcia as receiver on September 20, 2013, for David Gegg’s Discovery Expedition Belize Limited, which provides destination management services for tourists. According to the bank, Garcia has been appointed to seize the assets of the Belize City-based business.

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