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New Construction

Lease / purchase

See what's new: Condominio Hacienda "El Dorado".

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Progress Report

September 17-22, 2007 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #154

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: WHEN I STARTED RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES, I STARTED WRITING A WEEKLY NEWS LETTER—DEETERMINED TO TELL ALL THE GOOD, BAD, AND THE UGLY. I KNEW SOME READERS WERE INTERESTED IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS. OTHERS WERE INTERESTED IN HAVING INSIGHT TO THE LIFESTYLE OF TWO PEOPLE WHO HAD DECIDED TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE BOX. FOR OTHERS, THE ADVENTURES OF LITA, THE PARROT AND THE CAT TOOK ON AN ENTERTAINMENT SAGA ALL ITS OWN.

RESIDENCIAS LOR JARDINES IS FINISHED. WE PERIODICALLY HAVE RESALES AND RENTAL AVAILABILTY. SOME READERS MAY BE INTERESTED IN THIS INFORMATION.

MORE AND MORE, THE CONTENT WILL BE DOMINATED BY EVENTS OF OUR NEW PROJECT, “EL DORADO” FOR SHORT. WHILE THE FUTURE IS ALWAYS UNCERTAIN, I AGAIN AIM TO TELL IT LIKE IT HAPPENS—THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, AND THAT IS WHAT FOLLOWS:

EL DORADO

The STORY: moving slowly along and meeting with City Engineer -a non-event

Pictures: more land grading and future location of the Mayan tower.

Architect: We now have finished renderings for the third set of buildings and are waiting for the next set which will complete the work we've designed so far. There is still the Mayan Tower (a 5 story building including parking) but that is not yet finished and two other buildings which we'll work on down the road-they will be the last to be marketed and built...

Structural Engineer: we are awaiting his solution to the Mayan Tower before finishing the floor plans. We don't want to have a column required for support in the middle of the living room.

Electro-mechanical engineer: We now have some costs on which to extend our pricing. No surprises from what we had allowed for but now we have a better basis for our allowance.

Well Application: we continue to wait

Quebrada: this land fill is nearly completed. If the rains would have been lighter this week, it would have been completed. As it is, the backhoe had to use it's digger to pull himself out of the holes he kept sinking into. We kept a flag pole on the bull dozer so we could find it when it sank out of sight as well.

Pre-Approval: This was a non-event as we expected. The City Engineer asked questions on items which were important to him. We had anticipated all this and were well within the zoning guidelines as we knew them. The City's new master plan for the area does not affect us. The Engineer wanted some additional information which the architect is getting for him. We feel comfortable in advancing and we are not expecting any surprises —from the City of Santa Ana anyway. Fence: this work continues. I've found a source for bamboo plants-I calculate that I need about 1000 - $0.67 each. So far, the source doesn't seem too motivated... I may continue looking.

Web site: we have continued to work on this and a number of issues outstanding for Paul and I have been decided and incorporated into the content. However, I continue to keep thinking of missing information. I'm sure that when everything is done, we will have one of the most, if not the most, detailed information of any development. Areas where information is not yet available will be noted and added later. This coming week should see the finish of the English text which will be translated into Spanish by our Argentinean support people. Jan and I will move on to organizing the house renderings, floor plans, optional upgrades, and Paul and I will debate final prices. So far, our working figure seems to be holding up fairly well.

Marketing: We have the photographs from the professional photographer which will be integrated into our web site and marketing info. We didn't like the pricing of one rendering company so are still looking to source that need. Brochure, folder, misc. handouts, etc. are nearing completion.

Legal counsel: This is still in flux. We continue to re-think this and have not yet made a final decision. We interview one more company on Monday. We have to make a decision but it has to be the right decision-and so far, both options have been lacking in some aspect.

Note: Comparative Shopping: On Friday, I visited two developments which I thought might be a useful basis for comparison and was saddened and gladdened that they weren't. One is a townhouse development having medium end finishes. It was disappointing in a number of respects but the price was perhaps consistent with the package. The other development I felt held promise-detached houses in a natural setting. I left there not knowing what I would get-no renderings, no floor plans, a $5 site plan, fancy entrance way, and no information on finishes. There was no marketing package; no finishing package; no information on the developer; etc. No on site management; no leasing or property management program. I did seem to understand that the price was $140 ft2 / or $1,400 m2. I had thought that 5 years after the design concept of Los Jardines, someone might have advanced their designs and product offerings. Perhaps I'm hard to please; perhaps I'm overly critical.

Marketing Manger: he continues doing just fine.

RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES

For Sale: nothing available at the moment

For Lease:
Unit 121 for the month of Oct. — $ 1,550
Unit 106A immediate thru Nov.30 — $ 950.

A baby is born: This past year has seen three weddings and a baby. The baby was born a month early and weighed in at 5 lbs 8 oz. - both mom and baby are doing fine; dad is handing our good cigars... Delivery was done at CIMA hospital. For those interested: total cost of hospital, operating room for the "C" section, circumcision, all doctors and nurses, support services, and 2 nights in the hospital --$4,000. Cigars extra!!!

Texas Hold-em: is back on track after two weeks of not having a quorum.

OUR LIVES

Weather: lots of rain-every afternoon and into the evenings

Hugo: his hair is beginning to re-grow on his tummy. Whatever caused the loss of it, I'll never know but a changed diet and a closed door so his buddies can't come visit him are the only changes I'm aware of.

Pineapple Harvest: After nearly two years of nursing along some pineapple plants we had our first harvest. It was disappointing —three small white pineapples off 16 plants. The pineapples were good tasting but small —obviously this is not the climate for them and even though they had lots of water, the temperature is probably not warm enough in the Central Valley. I also planted the sweeter yellow variety of pineapple but none of those have borne fruit.

Vicka: gets her daily dose of rainwater. Lita is rarely around to bring her in before the rain and the stupid bird won't get on any stick I put out for it.

Brian, Lita, Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies- Chico and Chica.

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View pictures of El Dorado

MASTERPLAN Click to view larger picture picture

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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.