September 3-8, 2007 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #152
Contact phone numbers
New York: 315-279-6711
Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203
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:
The STORY: El Dorado: rain and mud - again-and
Pictures: land grading
Architect: Waiting for all types of information-and
information to be corrected. I've received some more
renderings which are fine. We need to make some
changes to the floor plans and to the presentations
Structural Engineer: I'm meeting with him Monday
morning to scope out the location of one of the
buildings we've asked him to structure. We need to
know how we are going to support it before we finalize
the floor plans.
Electro-mechanical engineer: He is developing the
specs and getting preliminary quotes.
Well Application: supposedly this is working it's way
through the bureaucracy. If his timing is accurate,
we should have approval to drill the well by the end
of this month. We'll see.
Quebrada: The bulldozer has been able to move all the
dirt we imported and to salvage dirt we were planning
to be surplus... In effect, we are creating new land
although that was not the motivation.
The application along with many other applications
seems to be hung up in SETENA. It seems that SETENA
has been sued by someone because they had no standards
and took for ever to do what they were suppose to and
then, when done, their decisions were arbitrary -
surprise, surprise. It seems that they have only 3
vehicles and not enough gas allowance to actually make
site visits. We are told another month —in CR terms,
that could be never. It makes no difference now,
we've solved the problem and only hope that it
doesn't come back to bite us. While we worry about
this, I've seen two other project in Santa Ana do the
Pre-Approval: We have a meeting set with the Chief
Engineer of the Municipalidad of Santa Ana for
September 18. The purpose of this is to outline our
development and to determine if it is consistent with
their vision or if any modifications need to be made.
As far as we know, we have more than complied with the
zoning and will meet all the environmental concerns as
well. If necessary, we can revise our plan prior to
submission to the government review bodies knowing
that the City will issue a building permit once the
government agencies approve the development.
Corporate Social Responsibility Program: Our
Marketing Manger outlined a proposal to us which both
Paul and I accepted. We will commit the condo
corporation to contribute probably $5,000 per year for
probably 5 years to project(s) needed by the immediate
community. These might be computers for the school,
enhanced sanitation, equipment / uniforms for the
local soccer team, etc. We will devise a strategy
whereby we can get the community to determine what the
need is and we will add $5 per month per household
topped up by us. The community is one of modest means
and I'm sure that in addition to the jobs we will
create, we can otherwise make a difference as well.
We expect to do it without having an administrative
rake-off so that the entire amount will be put to full
use. We feel good about this and feel that our
purchasers will as well.
Fence: We started to lay the footings and some block
for what will become the fence along the west side.
Web site: This is pending the completion of accurate
information from the architect and the completion of
the formatting info. of the logo.
Marketing: We've committed to a timetable to launch
our marketing. Hopefully, we will be ready. We've
purchased large adds in several magazines. We're
planning a pre-launch marketing program to begin
November 1-15. This will be a window of opportunity
for those people on our waiting list to view our
product offerings and make a decision. We have a lot
of information to get together yet but we seem to have
to set a deadline to all have a common goal. We'll
Legal counsel: We've reconfirmed the offer from one
firm and are reconfirming a 2nd. company's offerings.
We need to make a decision and move on.
RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES
For Sale: nothing available at the moment
Unit 121 for the month of October: $
Unit 106A for October and November:
I approached the owner of 112 on Wednesday to see if
he wanted to lease it. I explained that I had had 5
phone calls this past week for long term rentals and
had nothing to offer.
On Thursday the owner authorized me to lease it, long
term only at $1,300. On Friday it was viewed and
Saturday I received a verbal commitment and am now
awaiting the deposit.
We leased 121 this week beginning November to a
person who wants to buy and wants to be here if
anything opens up.
Satellite TV: DISH continues to change the codes
regularly but they seem to be slowing down a bit.
Rainwater Drainage: the modification made seem to
work. They've been tested several times this week.
Weather: mostly beautiful ,clear mornings with
usually heavy rains in the afternoons. We're
officially into September and the official WET
(green) season. According to what I read and what I
experience, there is no doubt about it being "wet".
Cigars: One of our residents has become quite
interested in cigars. He's researched and tried
various suppliers in CR and has also had Cuban cigars.
He has found an excellent supplier who makes his own
from imported Cuban tobacco. He has a small, but
rapidly expanding business employing about 55
production workers in Puriscal-about 45 min. west of
Santa Ana. The most expensive cigar is about $3 for a
Carona , a Torpedo for $2, and works its way down to
around $0.35 for a smaller cigar. They are sometimes
banded; sometimes unbanded. It is my understanding
that he exports many boxes to Russia where they are
banded as Cuban cigars. I prefer them to the Cuban /
Havana cigars friends have brought me. It's just
another example of there being so many things
available in CR, the challenge is in finding what it
is you're looking for.
Parrot: We have a large bush continuously covered
with HOT, HOT, HOT tiny red peppers. The parrot LOVES
them. He'll eat and eat them, never seems to get
enough. Obviously his digestive system is different
than ours. He also loves to eat hibiscus flowers.
One day this week, so the story goes, he decided he
didn't like a wall decoration of a flying fish put on
the terrace of our neighbor's house. The parrot
attacked it, knocked it down and was munching on it
until the neighboring cats thought they'd like to
munch on him. The neighbor rescued the parrot-one day
the neighbor won't be there!!!! If I could take out a
life insurance policy on the parrot, I would.
Misc. Construction/Development-Santa Ana: A very,
very large KFC franchise is opening near us.
Rosti-pollo will have some competition although they
do have different menus.
Texas Hold-em didn't happen —not a quorum but this will
Dental work: crown installed as scheduled; fits
perfectly.end of story.
Purchasing fruit and vegetables: Normally I go to the
farmer's market (feria) in Santa Ana on Sundays while
Lita is in church. There one can find all types of
fresh things at a fraction of the cost in AutoMercado.
I also try to buy from an ancient guy working out of
a garage near El Dorado. He's crippled from some
accident and I'm sure he has lots of stories to tell.
Normally, he has the worst of the worst produce but I
try to find something to buy. He seems like a great
guy; he usually gives me some little present, a local
fruit that I'm not familiar with or an extra
Brian, Lita, Hairless Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the
pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies- Chico and Chica.