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New Construction

Lease / purchase

Phase 3: The construction of the remaining 11 residences.
See what's new: Garden Residences of Río Oro.

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Progress Report

January 29 - February 3, 2007 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #121

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: NOW THAT THIS DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIALLY FINISHED, THE LOG WILL FOCUS MORE ON THE RIO ORO DEVELOPMENT. IT WILL BE INFORMATIVE TO THOSE PLANNING ON BUILDING, THOSE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO PURCHASE OR TO LEASE, AND FOR THOSE WONDERING WHAT EXPATS DO IN COSTA RICA AND THE LIFESTYLE OF TWO ORDINARY PEOPLE.

The STORY: Rio Oro inches ahead and TECHNOLOGY!!!!!!

CONSTRUCTION

Rio Oro Development: The meeting with the City on Tuesday was very productive and cordial. The reported issue of wanting specifications on the black water treatment plant seemed to fade away and was never mentioned. (Odd that it ever arose at this stage.) The City has given us permission to continue doing what we are doing: cleaning up the land of debris and underbrush and to scrape in access roads. They also said they would approve the application to build the perimeter fence. They also advised us on applications we should get in the works now because of the length of time it takes for approvals -the bridge over the stream, a catch basin at the headwaters of the stream, and covering the water runoff we want to put underground and then level the land.

As the land becomes cleared of accumulated debris and brush, it becomes more and more clear that our choice was excellent and that we have such a great opportunity to create a beautiful development with virtually each lot offering a view of something-valley, stream, hills, and some even all three.

We have continued to make two more tiny refinements to the site plan. We have the lot sizes calculated now and numbered. This is necessary information to determine what can be built on each lot. We will now begin to work with the electrical - mechanical engineer to determine the specifications and layout for services. We have divided the land into phases for construction.

RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES

Satellite TV: I'm still having trouble but all 9 other people are enjoying their systems. DISH changed the receiver codes twice on Thursday/Friday -just before Super Bowl. The new codes were published within hours. We reprogrammed and were up and running. DISH and others must hate this "free to air" technology.

Irrigation System: We are still making above ground irrigation systems; I keep seeing new opportunities. We'll probably be at this task for the next week. When finished, we should have about 75% of the area covered by these simple systems. Total installed cost will be less than $1,500 vs. an installed cost of an in-ground automated system of over $15K.

Rentals

Unit 121: Two story, 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathrooms including Jacuzzi, terrace facing east looking at the sunrise and the mountains. 1,650sf. Beautifully furnished - $1,600 mo.

Unit 123: A beautifully situated unit nicely furnished is available for lease - $1,650 mo. this two bedroom unit with 2nd. floor terrace overlooks the lighted garden and one swimming pool as well as the mountains.

Unit 126: This is leased.

Resales

Unit 106B: 1 / 2 bedroom, two bathroom, two terraces (east and west) 1,250sf. Fully furnished - $150K.
Note: vendor owns another unit.

Unit 108: 2 floors, 2 bedrooms (one on each level), 2 1/2 bathrooms, Jacuzzi, walk-in vault, executive class furnishings including a 42" plasma TV, east facing terrace looking over the large pool and mountains and a ground floor back terrace for outside, private dining - $270K.

Unit 120: Single floor, 1,300 sf, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, executive furnishings throughout, beautifully decorated - $190K.

Note: Same owner for both 108 and 120; the owner wants to sell one of the two units.

OUR LIVES

Technology!!!!!! You've got to love it to put up with soooo much frustration!!!!! I would probably have some of the same problems in N. Am. so the frustration is only partially location based and partially personal incompetence.

VOIP phone: This system failed several weeks ago and was solved by various people's help including bringing components from Canada.

Satellite TV: Loss of satellite signal in the evening: this is a problem looking for a solution and has been going on now for a month. Other systems are working fine. Mine isn't!!!

Ink cartridges for my printer: a new HP printer and it took a day to find cartridges. Inventory management is not something that has reached CR yet. What would have happened were I to have be located in someplace other than near San Jose?

Personal Safe: I couldn't get it open. I requires a key and an electronic code. I'm into it several times a week; never a problem. All of a sudden, I just couldn't get in. I could not find the override key -I always keep a box of "mystery keys" but after having moved 4 times in the past year, I now don't know where that box is. After accepting defeat, I locate a safe cracker. He opens it after a few holes in the front. The safe worked fine; I had the wrong combination -I was entering only 4 of the 5 digit code!!! Now I jokingly worry that this is the beginning of Alzheimer's; I didn't have it written down-I certainly will from now on!

It takes a lot of people to keep me functioning. Fortunately I have a community of friends who know what a techno-idiot I am and fortunately I'm located in an urban area where help and products are available (more or less).

Golf: We have several people on site who love to golf. The local course was offered a special price at Los Sueños on the Pacific beach about 2 hrs. from Los Jardines. All three were very disappointed -even if it were not so far to drive, it was too hot to enjoy playing and mediocre course for even the discounted price.

More birthdays; more laughs and Lita seems to be in the middle of it all making it happen. She always tries to encourage the shy and usually does a good job because she doesn't take "no" for an answer!

I find it difficult to understand how there is always something new to laugh about, some new story untold or relived in a different light, some new practical joke planned or executed, and some new story about someone's over exuberance or over indulgence and the subsequent kowtowance to his wife. Periodically we all have to retreat into our own company for a few days only to emerge and carry on again.

Lita and I will be going to Granada this next week. I'm not looking forward to the bus ride but once there we'll enjoy it as we always do.

Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot.

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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.