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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

February 12-17, 2007 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #123

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 update and the Rental/Sales Market heats up!

CONSTRUCTION

Rio Oro Development: Still cleaning debris but nearly finished. Prepatory work-shelving, lighting, electrical outlets-in the construction site warehouse area. We've measured some of the interior fencing areas and expect to begin on that next week. Still waiting for permits.

On Tuesday we met with the architect and reviewed some of the changes we had discussed. We confirmed that we could get 40 parking spaces into an area which now allows us to contemplate about 20 houses in that area. The architect advanced some ideas re. housing design and footprints: I had some issues with some of these and we are now awaiting some revisions.

RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES

Satellite TV: I still don't receive a signal in the evenings; only during the day. This remains a mystery. Others are receiving fine even though DISH continues to scramble their signal.

Irrigation System: We have now completed all of these. Certainly the finished product is much more extensive than originally contemplated. Reason: it was simply cost effective. We now have about 80% coverage. What's more, the gardeners like them and use them.

Games Rancho: Still awaiting direction from the Board of Directors on this.

Rentals:

Unit 124: (Beginning May 1): one bedroom, 620 sf; 2nd. floor, sleeps 5 (1 double and 1 single in master bedroom / 1 pull out sofa (double); full kitchen with eating counter. Full display cabinet/bookcase/computer desk. Home theater system with 42" plasma TV and 2nd. TV in bedroom. Beautifully decorated and fully furnished. On site satellite TV, CableTica TV, high speed internet, 2 swimming pools each with waterfalls, social areas, mainly expat community, security, extensive manicured gardens. Separate storage locker Shorter term (less than 6 months) preferred.

Resales:

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. We have an offer on this unit but the offer hasn't yet been accepted.

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

OUR LIVES

We had the hottest day in the Central Valley in the past 10 years; it was 28 C or 85 F. For some reason, there hasn't been much of a breeze this past week which is normally the middle of the "windy" season. It's been beautiful here while areas of the U.S. and Canada are in a bitter winter spell.

Friday I spent actually looking for things to do. This hasn't happened in the past 5 years. I kept walking the garden wanting to give instructions for some undone thing or waiting for someone to need something. The only thing productive that happened was a party got planned (and this time not by Lita nor me) with contributors and contributions identified-and it was a good one!. At the end of the day, I realized that I hadn't given any instructions and no one really needed anything.

Friends arrive next week for their first visit with us and to CR. During the summer they are party people; I expect the warm weather here will thaw them and the ice in their drinks. My bar is empty and my cupboards are bare-thanks to my friends, their appetites and good stories: I'll have to go shopping.

One of our residents saw a beautiful blue butterfly. It might have been a "Blue Morphis". They are rare in this area-I don't remember ever seeing one -but the butterflies love the lantana plant which I've used as hedges.

Kids: Los Jardines was designed to be primarily an adult community in that mostly two bedroom units were built. We anticipated that residents would have their grandchildren to visit but we didn't expect that many younger people with children would reside here. Our experience is a bit different. We currently have 4 children -2 about 12 years old; 1 at 8 yrs. and one at 18 mo. old. In the past we've had others. The common denominator is that they are with their working parents and are being exposed to a foreign culture. Looking at these kids, I cannot help but remember one of the best things that happened to me when I was growing up -I traveled Europe for 3 months in 1958 with my parents when about 12. Even that short experience gave me a whole new perspective and appreciation that I would not have had except for that experience. At Los Jardines, we see adults coming here who have traveled very little; they are lost and so much like a fish out of water. They don't know the first things about survival let along how to really enjoy a foreign country -after all , it is different than their block back home. This is not their "fault" it's simply lack of experience, exposure, and opportunity. Kids of these parents are getting an education that FAR surpasses whatever book learning happens.

All in all, a bit of a quiet week with time to watch the butterflies and enjoy the garden and friends. Next week will, I'm sure, be filled with sounds of laughter and clinking glasses. This will be followed by Lita's son, his family and friends...

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.