Home » By Nok promoter of La Boladilla Village Resort in Estepona leaves investors in the dark and fearful for their money

By Nok promoter of La Boladilla Village Resort in Estepona leaves investors in the dark and fearful for their money

La Boladilla Village Resort marketing material

You rarely hear about buyers losing their off-plan payments these days in Spain, but things aren’t looking good for investors who handed over deposits and stage payments to the Costa del Sol promoter By Nok for villas in the La Boladilla Village Resort.

An off-plan investor contacted me not long ago in distress about more than 50,000€ he has handed over to Marbella-based promoter By Nok for a project called La Boladilla Village Resort in Estepona (marketing picture above). He paid 25% of the purchase price in 2018, but the project has since ground to a halt, By Nok no longer answers the phone or responds to emails, and its website (bynok.com) is down. He is worried he will never see his money again.

“I invested in 2018 when they took 25% of the expected cost and then the project stopped,” he told me. “They have been stringing us along for over three years with various excuses and now it appears that all websites and phones are uncontactable. I hear rumours they have been taken over by another company, but investors have not been told anything. The lawyer appointed at the beginning to do the transaction has done nothing. Is there a way of recovering the money, which is in excess of 50,000 Euros?”

By Nok’s Boladilla Village Resort still being marketed online

I had never heard of By Nok or the Boladilla Village Resort before this, so I went looking online to find out more. I was surprised to find very little information about the developer, and plenty of websites still marketing the Boladilla project as if nothing was wrong. If there are lots of fearful investors out there worried about losing their stage payments, it would seem they are not making much noise online, at least from what I can tell.

The By Nok Youtube channel still exists, though nothing has been posted in December 2019 (Update: By December 2022 the ByNok YouTube channel had been taken down).

I did find one article at the Spanish news site El Confidencial about problems at By Nok and La Boladilla in Estepona. The article, from 2020, reports that, with more 800 high-end projects under its belt, and a focus on the luxury foreign investor market, By Nok – the “spoilt child” of the industry – was in planning disputes with Estepona town council, and the Spanish Ministry of Development (Fomento). 

by nok la boladilla village resort problems
Picture credit El Confidencial

It seems that even back in 2020 By Nok was facing legal action from investors who had been seduced by the company’s promise of below market purchase prices and high returns. By Nok CEO Ana Belén Garrigós Zambudio told El Confidencial that investors were benefiting from “price-shattering” investments and “important savings” on development because of the firm’s unique business model. 

The article suggests that By Nok’s business model might have been smoke and mirrors, with the company marketing developments based on little more than an option to buy land, in which case investors stand to lose everything if their deposit and off-plan payments are not guaranteed. It seems that By Nok used a crafty investment structure to avoid taking on the responsibility of a developer, and leave all the risk and responsibility with investors. 

I can’t find any information online about the current status of By Nok or the La Boladilla Village resort. The project is still being marketed online, so maybe it has been taken over by another company. All I know is that By Nok has stopped responding, its website no longer works, and at least one investor has contacted me recently worried about losing his money. I’m aware that I might be late to this story, and others much better informed, but it’s strange there is so little news about this online.

It just goes to show that, when looking for property for sale in Spain, always have to be sceptical of companies offering below market prices and high returns. That always means more risk.

19 thoughts on “By Nok promoter of La Boladilla Village Resort in Estepona leaves investors in the dark and fearful for their money

  • johnmhughes@btinternet.com says:

    Not to be too negative, but this is the main reason why I would never consider buying off- plan in Spain.
    You are not guaranteed to get your money back if anything goes wrong and the official line seems to be for the injured party ‘to take the hit’.
    I have heard so many stories like this and also where, some years later, there
    has been a request for more money, because the developer has omitted to pay for something or the legalities haven’t been followed correctly.
    When will the Spanish Authorities deal with this situation, as it has been going on for as long as I can remember?

  • It is not an attractive development, without views and uninspired parallel rows layout. They cut down an avenue of mature eucalyptus trees that would at least have given an attractive approach. Unless sold at a low price to attract permanent residents or ‘only a bed for the night’ holiday interests, it’s always going to fail. It needs a radical layout redesign to create an enclosed village style atmosphere and block off the main coastal road.

  • Living in an area of Spain, Llíber, where illegality in regard to housing and off plan rip offs so often made international news, reading this article still totally saddens me that one human being thinks it’s just fine and correct to take another human being’s hard earned money to use it for their own means, disappear and to live off their money without any intention of ever providing them with what they paid for. I know instinct should have stepped in here and said this is too good to be true and simple maths or advice from any reasonable builder told them this is not right. There is also the naivety and greed element that comes out in us all. Having done a 5 minute search for CEO Ana Belén Garrigós Zambudio of ByNok, it tells you that there were already 22 bankruptcy filings related to her over 12 years YET she is still presently listed as being registered in another company as recently as November 21 detailing a home address as a hotel! https://librebor.me/borme/empresa/promotora-y-financiera-santillana/ ironically called Walk of the Parks! Spain has got to start backing these people who are being ripped off and finding and prosecuting such deplorable people. It really cannot be that hard to find and punish them surely. What is the Agencia Tributeria looking at when she files? If I ever comeback again, it’ll be as a pro-bono lawyer to catch and really show these people what it feels like to be hurt like this!! I hope she really suffers true loss .

  • Christine O’Chin says:

    I live in Estepona & this development, I believe, is 1km away from me. Haven’t seen anything going on there. I found their offices, in Marbella, on Google maps & there are (very bad) reviews as recently as 1 year ago. I’d love to go & kick some ass with those guys, or at least take some photos! Play amateur detective/investigator!?

  • We warned clients from the very beginning not to invest with this company having done our research on their background in Murcia. We also shared our research with certain media companies who were more than happy to take their money to promote their developments. Anyone buying in a new development in Spain should ask their lawyer to undertake a search on the directors and company.

  • Hi Mark, next time (sadly there will always be a next time) i will take you up on that! I think its great you have highlighted this story by the way even if its late. I re watched the wolf of wall street the other day and there are definitely parallels with costa del sol real estate, people promising the earth based on nothing more than fiction. For now i will send you the research we did using a lawyer, its an interesting read. I have to say i do not know what the status is regarding By Nok but i will endeavour to find out. Rumours regarding By Nok are that the director went (fled?) to Dubai as the company was insolvent. The mass advertising they did never made business sense, the investment returns they advertised should have triggered an investigation if this industry was regulated. Another rumour is that the company was sold to a business associate. As i said these are rumours but i will try and find out more.

  • Machiel Mayora says:

    Actually this was not the only project they offered to the market. There were also apartments , massive villas , etc. No idea what happened to those. They started of very professional visiting all the local real estate agencies , having agencies put stickers on their windows as valid partners.
    Their offer was you could buy below market price but the catch was there was no bank guarantees given out if a client chose that. This was a red flag and a good lawyer should/ would have advised against that straight away. There was also the option to buy with a bank guarantee but then the price was a lot higher and much less attractive. I think we have once taken a client there but when we found out about no bank guarantee we never gone back. Client also never bought . They had a massive marketing campaign and the renders of the houses and apartments looked like no other.
    Last thing we heard was that the owners fled to Dubai , but this was already pre covid.

  • Josie Sephton says:

    We so nearly got caught out with this. In 2019, we put down a deposit on a villa in Boladilla to secure a plot, but we insisted the deposit remain with our estate agents initially. We opted for the ‘with bank guarantee’ model (By-Nok were pushing ‘without bank guarantees’ – €100k cheaper, so very tempting! but we questioned why it should be so much cheaper without a guarantee – it soon became clear). As soon as we pushed to buy with a bank guarantee, By-Nok started messing us around, claiming the plot we wanted wasn’t available with bank guarantee, only without, so we started delving further. They were literally promising the earth – 100 villas to be built in 6 -9 months, which seemed crazy, especially as at the time, no building had started, and there were still pylons running across the land that had to be sunk. Initially we were told there were only 5 villas left, but when we became suspicious, we called using different names, and were told that other plots were available. It was a farce. Our estate agent at the time – Bromley Estates didn’t really do any serious digging on this for us, and we could have ended up in real trouble. The without bank guarantee model required staged payments, and failure to make the payments would have been in breach of contract. By-Nok presented everything as so slick, and all the staff were clearly in on the con. At Malaga airport, there was a massive billboard advertising By-Nok (it might still even be there). I feel desperately sorry for anyone who bought here without bank guarantee as the contract for this demanded staged regular, and quite large payments. We pulled out once it became clear that By-Nok did not want to offer bank guarantees (as that would have meant they had to deliver or reimburse us). We got our deposit back and bought elsewhere. To say we are relieved now is an understatement. These are professional con people. Every time we are in Spain, we have to drive by the Boladilla site and it looks very sad – a few house are up, but only the shells, and it doesn’t even look as if a single one is finished. Every time we pass it, we remind ourselves that we dodged a bullet. Based on our experience, we would say never buy without bank guarantees, no matter how attractive the deal – they are there for a reason. These people need to be found and to dealt with by the authorities.

  • Marian Ionescu says:

    well…I see the Boladilla development 24/7 as I live in Cosmo Beach just across. I was so interested when they started that project and went to visit their office and the show home villa. It was something I was looking for but….but once I got to the financial aspect a big red light including that sub sound (dive, dive, dive) started to flush. It didn’t make sense to me and having a very solid legal experience building three homes in Canada I couldn’t buy the smoke and mirrors! No bank guarantee @ 100k discount vs with the bank??? Who was that crazy to go for it? Well, there are a lot of greedy people out there. It is a shame that the project it is stagnant, and it is even more shameful that the authorities didn’t intervene. They make Spain looking like a lawless country. Should I mention that Real Estate should be regulated at par with what it is in other parts of the world/Europe??

  • Hi Aziz, I own a plot on La Boladilla and have done since 2019. Just before the urbanisation work was suspended. I have started a WhatsApp group for owners and we currently have approximately 12 members. We share information regarding the urbanisation repairs that have been taking place.
    There is a lot of misinformation regarding Bynok and their responsibility in this debacle. Bynok were in no way innocent bystanders. They took advance payments for architectural services, licence and in some case construction, but the real villain in all of this is the land owner – Azata. Especially in relation to the plots bought via Bynok.
    La Boladilla urbanisation is still majority owned by Azata. Some owners / developers bought plots directly from the bank, but in the case of Bynok both they as a construction company and us as private individuals bought our plots directly from Azata albeit via the marketing by Bynok.
    It was Azata that didn’t disclose the problems associated with the urbanisation infrastructure. Bynok themselves are a victim of the non disclosure by Azata of the historical problems. They took own approximately 16 plots either solely as a company or via various joint ownership schemes.
    From a private individual point of view my biggest problem with Bynok, apart from the loss of some funds, is that they didn’t do any due diligence or surveys of the existing infrastructure before buying or promoting the plots for and from Azata. They took have been hoodwinked by Azata much to their cost and ours.
    The good news the repair work has almost finished and the urbanisation is about to reactivate albeit with individual plot owners project managing their own construction.
    I will be in the area early in March and arranged for a number of plots to be cleared of vegetation.
    The urbanisation repair reports are currently with the town hall and meetings with them suggest that we have fulfilled our repairs obligations so it is just a matter of time before we can restart.
    Unfortunately the green space adjacent to the A7 falls outside La Boladilla. We have submitted a project to provide a new green area to give the urbanisation kerb appeal, but the highways department have yet to give the Junta approval to the scheme.
    Please let me what plot you own and whether you would like to join the WhatsApp group?

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