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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: "El Dorado" update and week of bizarre
Condominio Hacienda El Dorado:
Re. Logo: We have the first response. Paul like one;
wants to see it in a different color but we're making
progress on this front.
Re. Site Plan: On Tuesday we reviewed where we were
and made the following changes: The basketball hoop
1/2 court is located and the squash racquetball court
is also located. The major change was the addition of
a daycare center. This was located at a dead end
street where we couldn't build anything due to the
location of the well. We are not aware of any other
development in CR that has a day care center.
When trying to determine from the plan which trees
were protected, it became clear than the final link
had not been made. Why? I don't know. I only got
the schedule of inventoried trees on Wednesday and
looked for the information on the drawing and it
wasn't there. While the exercise seemed intuitively
obvious to me, something got lost. We're now back on
track-hopefully. We hope to have all this information
overlaid and reviewed on Tuesday 7am. We hope to be
ready to submit the site plan for INVUE environmental
assessment the following week. This will be the first
of many which will (hopefully) occur in parallel.
Marketing: I've started to make a video. Just as
people had a hard time visioning the end result of Los
Jardines, they are having a harder time envisioning El
Dorado. While it will still be a leap of faith for a
purchaser to buy from drawings, I need to provide as
much information as I can and confidence level that
we can achieve what we say we will do. I have a
wealth of information from the pictures I took along
the way of the development of Los Jardines. I drafted
a text for a video and I'm assembling the pictures
into some groupings, I will also add pictures of the
finishings as we expect El Dorado to have essentially
the same. When we have a firm site plan, we will work
on renderings and will authorize a diorama ( a three
dimensional, physical, model) to be constructed. The
architect will be commissioned to make some renderings
(pictures/drawings) of houses and buildings. What he
can do to make a "virtual" tour I don't yet know.
We still have a person interested in partnering with
us and we have what has been described as a "serious"
investor arriving here on Tuesday for a week's stay
and lookie. It doesn't make that much difference to
Paul or I what happens in either case; we are
proceeding and will develop it on our own if that is
the way it is to be. We've already determined the
phases of development and that won't change whether we
have another partner or not.
Fencing: we keep plodding away at it-not much to show
for our work so far but remember, this is only to
keep a core group of workers on site. Fencing on
hills takes more time; materials sufficient for 250
meters is on site. We now have a Bobcat, a
generator which will allow us to do continuous
welding, and soon to acquire a couple A
ATV's for faster site movement. We continue to make
Bobcat: this was a classic case of non-trust-so
prevalent here. We wanted to make sure the vendor
owned it, owned it free and clear, and that taxes were
up to date. We he didn't own it, his wife owned it,
the taxes hadn't been paid, and there were no liens
against it. It took them a week plus a one day delay
to get their end all sorted out. The term of said
included the delivery to our job site; when the
machine was there, we would pay after reviewing the
documentation with our lawyer. The paper review was
done at the Los Jardines office; when that was found
to now be in order, a phone call resulted in the
Bobcat being unloaded.
Residencias Los Jardines:
Technology: Everything continues to work. The large
pool is down for maintenance and should be back up and
running by mid next week. I think this is the first
time in 5 years that we've drained it.
We leased 108 and 120 this week. We had a person
interested in 106A but wanted to apply the security
deposit against the last month's rent. This was a
non-starter. We've had damage and things go missing
in the last week when we didn't have money in our
account; we simply won't do it anymore. I think each
and every time we were in this situation, we got
stung. No more —we won't play that game.
Unit 106 A: (Available May 1)
Ground floor, 1,250sf, 1 bedroom with
office/den/bedroom, two bathrooms, two terraces,
granite bathrooms and kitchen; fully furnished. - $900
Unit 107: (Available June 1)
2 floors, 2 bedrooms (one on each level),
2 1/2 bathrooms, Jacuzzi, office, executive class
furnishings, east facing terrace looking over the
large pool and mountins; west facing terrace viewing
sunsets and mountains; ground floor back terrace for
outside, private dining. Large granite "U" shaped
kitchen with SS appliances. Beautiful! - $1,650 mo.
Unit 120: (Available June 1)
Single floor, 1,300 sf, 2 bedrooms, 2
bathrooms, executive furnishings throughout, including
a 42" plasma TV + 2 conventional TVs, beautifully
decorated, granite bathrooms and kitchens - $1,400 mo.
Note: Re. 120 and 107: It could be that the client
who is leasing 120 effective April 1 will want to
remain there on the longer term basis. I'm trying to
contact her. In which case, 120 will not be
available June 1 as she will remain on.
Units 108 and 120 —would be re-sales: I was told by
the owner to put these up for sale —he had serious
cancer. I've been marketing them —several offers
which fell through mainly due to price. Some
bizarre communiqués later, I send the vendor two
offers-one for 120 and one for both units. I now
find that he is indisposed. While I know the reason,
the story is still unfolding. I have therefore
withdrawn the units from the "for sale" market and
have put them up for lease. I'm quite certain that
both will again come on the "for sale" market, I don't
know when-perhaps 3-5 months but I really don't k
Unit 102: Paul and I were approached by the owner, a
Tica, who described medical problems and explained
that her family thought it best that she move in with
them. She wants us to buy back the unit. We'll make
her an offer; we can close next week if she wants.
If she doesn't like our offer, we'll offer to market
it for her but there won't be any guarantee when it
will sell. We'll just have to see how this turns out.
This will represent an opportunity for someone —since
we will re-sell it. it is virtually identical to my
unit; wonderful space, 1,925 sf, ground floor, lots
of built-ins, huge granite kitchen, pantry, laundry
room, 2 1/2 baths, two bedrooms, office, covered
parking for one car, and a huge covered terrace
overlooking a garden. Price? Probably around
Note: In speaking with one agent, she is finding a
lot of clients from Venezuela-these people are getting
out while they still can and are looking to buy and to
lease. Costa Rica is seen as a "safe haven".
There have been NO dull days this week!!!! I'm still
reeling from all the changes, the twists , the turns,
etc. Fortunately, I've got a liquor cabinet full of
excellent quality booze and the time to enjoy it
while I lay in the hammock wondering what will
happen next. However, I can virtually always predict
that reality will be far more interesting than the
scenarios I dream up.
The only funny / sane story I can remember this week
is: When inspecting the progress on the fence at El
Dorado, I noticed that the tire on the portable cement
mixer was flat. I had a little $6 cigarette lighter
powered air compressor. I hooked it up and 2 minutes
later, the tire was full. The workers were absolutely
amazed and very animated —they wanted to know where I
got it (Canada), how much it cost, etc. No one
believed me with I told them $6 but they all thought
it was the cat's meow...
Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon
us at any time to purchase a new house and still be able to select your finishings.
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.