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Jan. 3-5, 2005

Reports 2004
Dec. 25-27, 2004
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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

March 5-10, 2007 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #126

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: "El Dorado" update and the wedding

CONSTRUCTION

Condominio Hacienda El Dorado:

Re. Logo: I've received a proposal and have accepted it. I'll await the initial design options.

Planning: I've reviewed and have approved in principle one further multi-family building. We are moving around the tennis court, rec center and administrative center. Working with the mechanical engineering consultant, we've also pretty well located where the well will go and the primary cistern for potable water will be located close to the well head. We will pressurize the system from there; each house will in turn have it's own small holding tank and pressurization system. We also have advised that the rainwater collection and black water collection systems should follow the natural grade of the stream; that all houses will be above that level and water and black water will flow down hill-it always does. This way, we eliminate the need for pumps.

We have a small "quebrada" through which some brackish water flows; we want to enclose it in a pipe and cover the area. We know we will not be able to buildings on it but we can use the area for parking, park/recreation, and tennis court, etc. We are trying to determine which government level and section has authority to authorize this. We're still looking to find the starting point.

We've gotten permission to cut some of the trees which do not fit into the plan. None of these are either substantial or particularly beautiful. What we will cut will be abundantly replaced by other, more decorative plants and trees.

We have several additional flowering trees-a beautiful and very large soft pink flowering tree.

Residencias Los Jardines:

Everything is working smoothly. We will, however, be shutting down the large pool for maintenance and repair of the faux rock water falls. This is something which has to be done every 5 years or so. It will take about a week.

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

Paintball: Last week I wrote: We'll see if the agility and enthusiasm of youth can beat cunning and wickedness of age!! Well the results are in but they're not definitive. Two of the "Old F.ts" dropped out leaving an incomplete team of Nick and I. (This is typical-throughout history the Old F.ts of any society have be successful at getting the youth to do their fighting for them; when ever the old buggers had to participate, their enthusiasm dwindled). The young kids reluctantly agreed to have one of us each on a their respective teams. I was successful at "killing" one of my own team mates and one of the opposition guys who was already "dead"... It's a good thing that Uncle Sam decided I wasn't good fighting material.!!! It was fun; the kids were great. While they didn't want to talk strategy at the beginning, after a few games, the leader of each team emerged and he started giving us directions. I was usually relegated to-"stay behind, cover me"... Status... My legs were stiff virtually all week. I twisted my back on Wednesday at which point a had a whole different set of problems-and the wedding preparations were heating up!!!!!

Wedding Plans: Last week I predicted that chaos and confusion would reign... Truer words were never spoken. Lita has had a whole gang of us helping her:

The bride and groom's entourage arrived at different times. All had limited contact info. at this end and consequently most had complications getting to Los Jardines . Some of the people went to Liberia area; there was no contact information with this group but they arrived on time. Nevertheless, all did arrive and on time. While here, they were more interested in partying and playing but all got sorted out eventually. Most of them took off for the beach for a few days during mid week including the bride and groom. Planning was complicated because communications wasn't there; nevertheless, we got it done..

Wedding preparation plans got a bit bogged down. What had been happening is that when she approached the florist and the cake maker, hairdos, etc, it seamed that their assessment was: "gringos + wedding = "retirement plan" for them. Neither Lita nor I were going to buy into it. Lita was desperate (that means I was as well because we all know who gets beaten up in this situation)-so I took a more active role. I identified and got resources, support people/contacts, and rallied the cavalry to her rescue. As we went though the process of securing things, we either changed our contacts through our maid, did it ourselves, or through a gang of helpers in our support network. The maid contact was great, really great. If her 11 kids couldn't do it, they usually knew someone who could. ..and the price was right. I bought the necessary things to make the cake; told the president of the association (Martin) that baking cakes was part of "other duties as required" and he did a superb job on a 4 layer cake (he's not looking for a second career but had fun this time). Pam,, one of the residents, knew about flower preparation and table decorations and through her substantial help, all was done fantastically. The maid supplied the rice, tamales, hair dresser and make up person. I cooked the meat (chicken and pork), the salad, and prepared the bar-juice punch with a side of "guaro", beer, coke, and wine. Milton and some of the kids prepared the music. Most of the kids helped decorate around the pool the morning of the event. The priest gave the blessing and our corporate lawyer and her translator did the ceremony. The ceremony started 10 min. late and the hot food followed around 12... The groom was "sick" (perhaps hung over from too much partying the night before) and had a rough day but he made periodic appearances as required. Total attendees: about 50. Lita's determination and perseverance, a support group, and a little luck all worked together.

Comment: While this was a specific and special purpose event, the point is that foreigners with limited experience can stage an event here and they don't have to pay through the nose-they simply have to be resourceful and perhaps a little lucky.

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.