August 6-11, 2007 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #148
Contact phone numbers
New York: 315-279-6711
Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203
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:
El Dorado: marketing
Our Lives: Granada: the border; running
with the bulls; and an unusual traveler.
Pictures: quebrada & fencing.
Architect: Some work but not enough. This is
frustrating. We have at least several more session
before I can say we have developed all the info.
required to package our work to date. We did complete
a further review of several floor plans and a minor
but significant change to the site plan. Re. the site
plan, we actively questioned the need for a 2nd.
entrance / exit. The capital cost of building it
would be around $40-50K with all the
telecommunications, gates and control systems and the
annual operating cost would be around $30K or about
$35 mo. per household. We thought this was
unnecessary at this point in time and that we will use
the space for garden waste and if, in the future, the
corporation decides to create a 2nd. entrance, they
can do so with minimal structural changes.
Quebrada: We are continuing to provide covered
drainage for the portion which bisects our land. We
still don't know the fate of our application of 3 mo.
ago - typical. This work is now about 60% finished.
Fence: we are working in three different locations:
one on an existing portion to extend the height and to
strengthen it. (two) to create a fence along the west
roadway where a sheer cliff exists and where there is
no space to respect the setback, the City has agreed
that we can put in a chain link fence where a previous
fence (theirs) use to exist. This will prevent people
from dumping garbage on to our property and into the
stream; (s) excavating for the block and wrought iron
Web site: This is under development and we have
decided to use the following domain name:
Marketing: We have hired our own person dedicated to
marketing and working with RE agents. We chose this
option because any other option would require us to
negotiate time and attention and priorities. We
didn't want to do this. We are also concerned about a
possible backlash from other RE agents (agencies)
since there does not seem to be an atmosphere of trust
and cooperation in the industry. He starts on Sept. 1
and has already made several good recommendations.
We got no spin-offs from the Tico Times article but we
did get two potential clients from the TV house
hunters program which aired several times on HGTV.
Financial Arrangements: We want to negotiate
preferential financing for our purchasers with an
efficient and cost effective company and with a
company who has reviewed and accepted our development.
We've started discussions with two organizations:
Scotiabank de Costa Rica-with whom we have a 5 year
history, and a new bank -Worthington
Ventures--dedicated to construction financing and
mortgaging. Worthington is not yet up and running but
they are working hard at it and say they expect to
lend as per N. Am. practices. Sometimes the stars and
moon align themselves and they may have in this case.
In our initial meeting, of the four people present
from the bank's side, we either knew or had had first
hand association with them-bottom line is that we are
not unknown to them. They need a vehicle to get their
name out and start their money working, they can see
the project from the main window, the majority of our
clients are expected to be N. Am., and the president
of the bank lives at Los Jardines. It could be a
win-win situation if it all comes together. We are
awaiting a proposal from them as well as from
RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES
For Sale / for Lease: nothing for sale and beginning
Oct. 1, unit 121 is available for lease.
Texas Hold-em: it continues and one of the key
players bought a larger table.
Satellite TV: DISH continues to change the codes but
Weather: mostly clear mornings with overcast
afternoons and a short rain followed by clearing.
Off to Granada: We went to Granada by Ticabus Friday
and returned Monday evening-uneventful and the movies
were good which helped the time pass more quickly.
The round trip is now $30; our hotel room was $40
with air conditioning; our main meals, minus alcohol
were around $10. All in all, including the border
tax, for two people, for three nights, about $275.
Granada was busy with many European travelers. As I
remember, France and Germany and the US have major
holidays in August. The city itself shows no more
sign of economic recovery than it has for the past
year. Little construction is on going. Granada, if
not all of Nicaragua, is experiencing planned power
outages. We arrived t a blackened city; I hardly
recognized it. In Granada it seems to be 7-10pm. Most
of the major establishments have adapted by using
portable generators usually situated on the sidewalk
all whirring away. The streets are still dark and so
are the homes.
Sunday was Granada's version of "running with the
bulls". It happened right in front of our hotel. The
street was first cleared of cars. The warm up run
involved all the young guys and horse and
riders-probably about 300. Some beautiful horses;
some really small horses which looked decidedly
uncomfortable with their riders dragging their shoes
on the pavement. The second run was with a very
confused but BIG bull. At one point, he decided to
make a dash into our hotel lobby and was
unceremoniously ushered along to the street. The most
enterprising guy I saw was a little kid picking up and
crushing the empty beer cans for later resale.
The most significant experiences we had this time
(other than the running of the bulls) were at the
border. On our way to Nicaragua, the line up at he CR
immigration side was LONG. It took 90 min. to go
through the line; they had one (1) immigration
officer processing the exits. After we arrived at the
Nicaraguan side, the bus disappeared, the power went
out, we waited for another 90 min.
When we re-boarded, we had a visitor on the seat in
front of us-a giant locust-probably a good 5" long.
Out came the digital cameras-he was stunned by his
moment of fame. After some time, he began to move a
bit so I advised the lady in front-I was expecting her
to go ballistic but she didn't-she too took a picture
and then some hero picked up the locust and ushered it
When returning to San Jose, the Nicaraguan side was
fine. The Costa Rican side was really busy. The line
was probably twice as long as exiting but they had
lots of people processing the entries and it moved
along rapidly. One officer noticed that Lita was
blind and ushered her (and me) to the front of the
line and made sure we got processed right away-first
time this has happened. It didn't really help us get
going any sooner as we had to wait for the rest of the
bus passengers. Immigration was it's normal slow self
and that, as well as lots of people traveling,
probably contributed to the great number of people
milling around, buses and trucks idling their big
diesel motors, trucks and buses blocking the exit,
people sandwiched between these monsters, pick-up
trucks and cars looking like dinky toys trying to
scoot their way through the chaos. 90 min. later we
were on our way.
Wendy's has been open now for two weeks now and it
continues to be swamped with customers.
Lita continues to work hard at the gym-or at least she
spends a lot of time there.
Brian, Lita, Hairless Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the
pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies- Chico and Chica.