LIHUE — A real estate developer, whose long-delayed timeshare proposal on Kauai faces mounting financial trouble, is struggling to cover debts on projects on the mainland as well.
SPD II Makaiwa Resort Development LLC, the company behind a proposed 330-unit timeshare development in Kapaa to be named the Coconut Beach Resort, recently defaulted on a $10 million loan to finance the project. Liens on the property have been filed by multiple companies hired by the developer attempting to recoup expenses for unpaid labor.
In the past six months, the corporation has been named as a defendant in at least seven Fifth Circuit Court filings. It faces litigation from its financier, a public relations firm hired to promote the development, two construction contractors, an architect and a landscape designer, all of whom are alleging the developer owes them money, either for unpaid loans or for failure to make payments on work already completed.
The LLC’s sister company also appears to be in financial trouble. Earlier this month, a Chicago business publication reported that Symmetry Property Development — both corporations are registered to a New York man named Jeffrey Laytin — is facing “dwindling options” in its two-year struggle to clear zoning restrictions that would make way for construction to begin on a 60-story condominium hotel tower in downtown Chicago.
Symmetry Property Development is also facing a federal lawsuit demanding the whereabouts of the nearly $50 million raised to finance the project. A group of 90 Chinese investors filed a class action lawsuit against the LLC in November for securities fraud and breach of contract.
The group of Chinese speculators gave Symmetry Property Development investments totaling $49.5 million in 2015. The condo tower construction sparked neighborhood outcry and a local politician eventually rejected plans for the project. But according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in November, the investors “never got their money back; in fact, no one will tell them where it is.”
Laytin could not be reached for comment.
Makaiwa Resort Development, a corporation that owns 21 acres of land adjacent to the Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach in Waipouli, defaulted on a loan it took out two years ago to finance construction of the timeshare development, according to loan foreclosure documents filed earlier this month.
According to a contract attached to the public relations firm’s civil compliant, Makaiwa Resort Development originally intended to complete the bulk of a 326-unit “shared-ownership resort” called Coconut Beach Resort by the summer of 2018 and have the finishing touches complete by early 2019.
It is unclear how much work has been completed toward the construction of the proposed timeshare complex, but the developer apparently still intends to move forward with the project.
Mitch Heller, manager of Makaiwa Resort Development, did not respond to inquiries on Monday but said in an email last week the company is “committed to commencing development this summer.”