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ARCHIVE
Reports 2006

Dec. 18-23, 2006
Dec. 11-16, 2006
Nov. 27-Dec. 9, 2006
Nov. 20-25, 2006
Nov. 13-19, 2006
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Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 2006
Oct. 23-28, 2006
Oct. 16-21, 2006
Oct. 9-14, 2006
Oct. 2-7, 2006
Sep. 24-30, 2006
Sep. 16-22, 2006
Sep. 11-14, 2006
Sep. 4-9, 2006
Aug. 28-Sep. 2, 2006
Aug. 21-26, 2006
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Aug. 7-12, 2006
Jul. 31-Aug. 5, 2006
Jul. 24-29, 2006
Jul. 17-22, 2006
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Jul. 3-8, 2006
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Feb. 12-18, 2006
Feb. 6-11, 2006
Jan. 30-Feb. 4, 2006
Jan. 23-28, 2006
Jan. 16-21, 2006
Jan. 9-14, 2006
Jan. 2-7, 2006

Reports 2005
Dec. 26-31, 2005
Dec. 18-24, 2005
Dec. 12-17, 2005
Dec. 4-10, 2005
Nov. 28-Dec. 3, 2005
Nov. 19-26, 2005
Nov. 14-19, 2005
Nov. 6-12, 2005
Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 2005
Oct. 23-29, 2005
Oct. 16-22, 2005
Oct. 9-15, 2005
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
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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

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

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Progress Report

July 2-7, 2007 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #143

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: "...poco a poco." (little by little)

Pictures: see views not taken before of El Dorado.

CONSTRUCTION

Architect: In our working session on Tuesday, we faced several options-change the house designs, change the lots, or a combination of both. For the most part, we decided to do the latter. Be eliminating several lots and reconfiguring some of the house designs, we solved the problem and to the betterment of the project. My concern all along was that the lots and therefore the houses were too long and too narrow. Now we have wider lots which give the houses more street presence and separation from the neighboring house.

We also focused on the west side of the property and have decided to reconfigure the lot design there as well by capitalizing on the mountain view at the expense of locating houses in a low area along the stream. On Friday, I received Version 31 of the site plan.

Quebrada: our application, like so many applications, languishes in the bureaucracy. We have decided to be more proactive and have called the City inspectors in to see what our issues are —the neighborhood sewage is being flushed through the quebrada which crosses and borders our land. We think we will get their tacit approval to install a culvert and then to cover it. This doesn't solve the problem of contamination but the ministry of health and the city have to solve that but that isn't going to happen in our lifetime.

Fence: We've located the fence along the western roadway. We've respected what we believe to be the setbacks and have asked the City for their agreement. Since the setback requirement can't be met in one area because of a sheer cliff, we are negotiating with the City as to how to fence this area. The solution will probably be to leave the fence line as it is and to install chain link fencing. In the meantime, we are extending the height of the existing block wall. We have authorized the engineer to determine the design necessary to strengthen this wall such that it can act as a retaining wall as well in those areas where we propose to raise the level of the land.

Note 1: "Setbacks" the distance required by law between the edge of a building or structure and the property line." This has never been a well respected or enforced aspect of CR building. On the road connecting Santa Ana with Belen in the area now referred to as the "Golden Mile," the government is attempting to widen the road for the 2nd. time in three years. Several major businesses, El Lagar, the new AutoMercado Shopping Mall and a number of others, are using government land for their parking and access. Consequently, they are fighting the roadway widening.

Note 2: When we were staking out the fence line, a neighbor tried to claim a 2 1/2 meter wide right of access. We showed him the survey saying he was wrong. He backed off.

Tree removal: we removed the downed tree but it took about 30 man weeks of back breaking work, chainsaws, a back hoe, all the pulling power of a dump truck, and a lot of persistence and ingenuity to get it done. At one point after three attempts which didn't budge the stump 6", I was willing to bet a $100 that they couldn't do it. I returned two hours later and it was out. We've set aside three sections of the trunk which we will use as benches or orchid or fern planters later on. Most of the rest of the wood was trucked to a fiber recycling plant and will come out as cardboard and the Christmas party is now funded.

Well Application: What Paul interpreted as "nearing approval" was wishful thinking —we wait.

We are investigating bringing a 6" water pipe up the eastern street-about 2 kl which amounts to about $85,000. We are initiating a conversation with the Municipality to see what we can negotiate in terms of cost sharing since it would benefit all the houses along the east roadway.

Web site: we are awaiting two more proposals. We have one from our current designer and maintenance people in Argentina. They have been excellent to date and will be hard for others to knock out. Distance is a concern but in reality, cyber distance is non-existent and they have been wonderfully responsive and seem to keep up-to-date on the latest software technology. I've come to rely on them totally and haven't yet been let down! We've registered three additional possible versions of a domain name for the site.

Condominium Documentation: About a month ago, we sent our two office employees to a series of seminars on CR condominium law-they were very impressed with the seminar sponsors. Paul and I met with the lawyers and outlined our project. We got some answers to potential issues we anticipated resulting from the variety of housing-single family, horizontal duplexes, multifamily buildings, vertical (multistory) homes, horizontal homes, etc. We found the representative very knowledgeable. While we are somewhat premature in this initiative, —work really begins after we have solidified the site plan and the buildings which will go on the various lots— we do feel confident that these people know what they are talking about.

On a separate initiative, we now have a rough draft in English of CR condominium law.

RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES

Article in Tico Times: the article has been submitted and pictures will be taken Monday. The article, along with others, will appear in a special supplement of The Tico Times.

RENTALS:

We've signed three leases this week; the following are still available:

Unit 115:
Never before on the rental market. This 1,400 sf, single level unit has two huge bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a private terrace. The open concept kitchen and living room has a 14' high vaulted ceiling. The unit features LOTS and LOTS of beautiful wood built-in storage cabinets, an office, as well as an entertainment wall unit with a 50" plasma TV and home theater system. The owner has furnished the entire unit very tastefully with pieces collected from around the world. All kitchen appliances and a stacked washer dryer are included.
$1,450 mo. Non-smokers only.

Unit 119:
1,300 sf, 2 bedroom, two bathroom, single level with vaulted ceiling, open concept living/dining/kitchen area. The 300 sf terrace faces the garden and has a dining table for 6 as well as casual lounging chairs and side tables. Nicely furnished throughout and well located near the small pool and waterfalls.
$1,300 mo. Non-smokers only.

Unit 125:
2nd. floor, one bedroom (620 sf), fully furnished with full wall bookshelf/display unit with computer desk, TV, large kitchen with all the kitchen appliances, pots, cooking / serving and eating ware included. The cabinets are made of stained "cedro"; the counters, including the raised breakfast counter and full backsplash are granite. There is valence lighting, The bedroom has a matrimonial and a single bed (if desired). There is a matrimonial size pull out sofa in the living room. The living room overlooks the large pool and faces west. The bedroom faces east and has views of the mountains.
$850 mo. Non-smokers only.

Residencias Los Jardines is a  secure, gated, tranquil community with on-site satellite  and / or CableTica TV, high speed internet,  VOIP phone capability, 2 swimming pools each with waterfalls,  2-bar-b-qs and social areas, extensive manicured gardens, English / Spanish / German / Dutch / French spoken.

OUR LIVES

Weather: mostly clear days with a breeze. The mini summer hiatus seems to be here.

Between the gym, looking after the birds and playing with them endlessly, picking oranges/grapefruit/limes, and shopping, Lita has a full day.

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

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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.