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New Construction

Lease / purchase

See what's new: Condominio Hacienda "El Dorado".

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Progress Report

August 13-18, 2007 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #149

Contact phone numbers

Internet Phone:
New York: 315-279-6711
Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203

Costa Rica:
Cell: 506-305-3965
Land: 506-282-4142 Ext. 101

NOTE: the New York and Toronto numbers are "local calls" for people in the area codes; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code to either the "315" or the "416" area code.


NOTE: WHEN I STARTED RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES, I STARTED WRITING A WEEKLY NEWS LETTER—DEETERMINED TO TELL ALL THE GOOD, BAD, AND THE UGLY. I KNEW SOME READERS WERE INTERESTED IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS. OTHERS WERE INTERESTED IN HAVING INSIGHT TO THE LIFESTYLE OF TWO PEOPLE WHO HAD DECIDED TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE BOX. FOR OTHERS, THE ADVENTURES OF LITA, THE PARROT AND THE CAT TOOK ON AN ENTERTAINMENT SAGA ALL ITS OWN.

RESIDENCIAS LOR JARDINES IS FINISHED. WE PERIODICALLY HAVE RESALES AND RENTAL AVAILABILTY. SOME READERS MAY BE INTERESTED IN THIS INFORMATION.

MORE AND MORE, THE CONTENT WILL BE DOMINATED BY EVENTS OF OUR NEW PROJECT, “EL DORADO” FOR SHORT. WHILE THE FUTURE IS ALWAYS UNCERTAIN, I AGAIN AIM TO TELL IT LIKE IT HAPPENS—THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, AND THAT IS WHAT FOLLOWS:

The STORY: El Dorado: marketing

Pictures: quebrada & fencing

CONSTRUCTION

Architect: we beat each other up on Tuesday and then kissed and made up on Thursday. In conversation with one of our resident owners/investors, I realized that we really hadn't included many "investor" based units, ie. smaller units which could be leased at a good ROI. In my Thursday session with the architect, we did that by creating a 4plex design of smaller 1 and two bedroom units. We also worked out a delivery schedule for the remaining work for this phase to be delivered by the architect. At this point in time, I'm not really able to contribute much; the architect has to do the rest on his own. I'll await the results of the finished floor plans, the exterior and interior renderings. I should have all of these by August 30.

Quebrada: We are continuing to install cement culvert sections in the portion of the quebrada which bisects our land. If the semi-dry weather continues, we should be finished this by the end of next week. We are trucking in a lot of soil and much more is needed, to burry the culvert and to level off this area. We will continue to forge ahead on this as long as the dry weather holds. The City asked us if we could replace some of their culverts going under the street with larger ones; we agreed-this is the first positive sign of a win-win relationship-and what I've been hoping and waiting for. We'll see if this is the beginning of cooperation or just a one off thing... time will tell.

Fence: We've been focusing on the quebrada while it hasn't been raining so much. We have, however, continued the fence along the roadway where we will be putting chain link or cyclone fencing-this will provide safety to the community and will prevent the dumping of garbage and will add an element of perimeter security.

Web site: This is under development and we have decided to use the following domain name: eldoradocostarica.com

Marketing: Our new marketing manager is beginning to get his feet wet while he works out of his current job and into ours. We've had meetings with a possible corporate law firm and meetings are being set up for several other banks. I also understand that one of the local CR newspapers wants to do an article on El Dorado.

Chris Howard, well known author and relocation to expert on Costa Rica, and Rudy Mathews, RE agent, have been introducing clients to Los Jardines for about a year and more recently to El Dorado. Rudy has been very successful at finding people new homes in Costa Rica and at Los Jardines and has a substantial list of people already interested in El Dorado. The marketing manager we hired was a referral from Rudy's boss-Robert Shannon. We expect to continue working closely with Rudy and the other agents at Costa Rica Retirement Vacation Properties.

Scott Oliver (WeLoveCostaRica.com) and his partner, Mayra, have also relocated a number of people over the past year to Los Jardines and when we move into the marketing phase of El Dorado we expect they will become very active. They were very successful at the Avalon Country Club development.

We expect to develop strong relationships with other good-reliable, knowledgeable, and responsible agents and agencies, e.g. Vacation City / George Bradbury-and will begin building those relationships as we assemble our marketing package.

Financial Arrangements: We haven't yet received any feedback from either the Scotiabank or the other private bank which is still awaiting operating permission from the government. We are setting up meetings with several other national and private banks, eg. Cathay and HSBC (recent owner of Banex).

RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES

For Sale / for Lease: nothing for sale and beginning Oct. 1, unit 121 is available for lease.

Texas Hold-em: the new table continues to get well used and all players have a good time. Normally, two games a played per night (usually Wednesday nights) with a 10,000 colone / $20 buy-in. There does not seem to be any consistent winner which makes the games interesting and friendly.

Satellite TV: DISH continues to change the codes but...

The developer to the east of us, a large CR company which does decent work, is currently tearing up the paved road we and two others paid for and are ripping up the 24" rain water culvert the City required us to put in. It all seems kind of stupid to put it in and three years later to rip it up and install a larger one. Couldn't they have figured this out? In the process, the developer cut two parallel lines in the middle of the road separated by about 5'. This would normally indicate that is the portion of the road which would be dug up —but no, they are digging up the edge of the road not paying any attention to the cut pavement. It gives me some comfort to know we aren't the only ones who screw up. I can only hope they repair the road as good as new... I'm hopeful, they seem to be good builders.

OUR LIVES

Weather: mostly clear mornings cloudy afternoons but not a lot of rain this past week.

Wendy's: I finally got there and found it tasted just like a Wendy's burger in N. Am. From my perspective, it's nice to have an option for lunch.

Dental work: had a cleaning and 2 X-rays: $56. Top notch; close by; walk-in and done.

Lita hasn't been going to the gym as much but she bought an exercise ball for home use. She continues to get a lot of pleasure out of her birds and you can tell, they look forward to the interaction.

Brian, Lita, Hairless Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies- Chico and Chica.

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View pictures of El Dorado

MASTERPLAN
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Overlay of Version 1 of the master plan. There will be some minor changes to it but for the most part, it is a reasonable starting point. The picture with the yellow dots represents trees.  One swimming pool will likely be eliminated in favor of houses (the large one near the 2nd. pool (bottom left hand corner)  This area will likely become a condominium within a condominium having it's own direct street access.