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ARCHIVE
Reports 2006

Dec. 18-23, 2006
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Nov. 27-Dec. 9, 2006
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Oct. 2-7, 2006
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Sep. 16-22, 2006
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Sep. 4-9, 2006
Aug. 28-Sep. 2, 2006
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Jan. 16-21, 2006
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Jan. 2-7, 2006

Reports 2005
Dec. 26-31, 2005
Dec. 18-24, 2005
Dec. 12-17, 2005
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Nov. 28-Dec. 3, 2005
Nov. 19-26, 2005
Nov. 14-19, 2005
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Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 2005
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Oct. 16-22, 2005
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Oct. 3-8, 2005
Sept. 25-Oct,1, 2005
Sept. 19-24, 2005
Sept. 12-17, 2005
Sept. 5-10, 2005
Aug. 29-Sept. 3, 2005
Aug. 21-27, 2005
Aug. 14-20, 2005
Aug. 8-12, 2005
Aug. 1-6, 2005
Jul. 25-30, 2005
Jul. 18-23, 2005
Jul. 11-17, 2005
Jul. 1-9, 2005
Jun. 26-Jul. 2, 2005
Jun. 20-25, 2005
Jun. 12-19, 2005
Jun. 5-11, 2005
May 29-Jun. 4, 2005
May 22-28, 2005
May 16-21, 2005
May 8-14, 2005
May 1-6, 2005
Apr. 24-30, 2005
Apr. 18-23, 2005
Apr. 11-16, 2005
Apr. 4-10, 2005
Mar. 26-Apr. 3, 2005
Mar. 21-23, 2005
Mar. 14-19, 2005
Mar. 7-12, 2005
Feb. 27-Mar. 5, 2005
Feb. 21-26, 2005
Feb. 13-19, 2005
Feb. 7-12, 2005
Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 2005
Jan. 23-29, 2005
Jan. 16-22, 2005
Jan. 10-15, 2005
Jan. 3-5, 2005

Reports 2004
Dec. 25-27, 2004
Dec. 20-25, 2004
Dec. 12-18, 2004
Dec. 6-11, 2004
Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2004
Nov. 22-27, 2004
Nov. 15-21, 2004
Nov. 8-14, 2004
Nov. 1-6, 2004
Oct. 25-30, 2004
Oct. 18-23, 2004
Oct. 11-16, 2004

 

New Construction

Lease / purchase

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

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Progress Report

August 6-11, 2007 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #148

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
Our Lives: Granada: the border; running with the bulls; and an unusual traveler.

Pictures: quebrada & fencing.

CONSTRUCTION

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 decorative fence.

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

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 Scotiabank.

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 ...

 

OUR LIVES

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 outside.

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.

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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.