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New Construction

Lease / purchase

Phase 3: The construction of the remaining 11 residences.

Scheduled to begin in November with completion expected
by January 31.

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Progress Report

Apr. 11-16, 2005 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #27

Pictures: finally some progress on new construction which is worth showing and #107.

Synopsis: Permitting is the story this week.


Permit: We got the approved drawings from the Min. of Health on Tuesday (Monday was a holiday). We submitted them to the City and they promptly showed us the door and told us to go to SENTENA. We did. I won't go into the details of one of the most anal procedures I've ever seen, like going to a designated bank to pay 1,000 colones (about $2) and getting a receipt and returning to SENTENA before they would accept the application. Anyway, the application -about 30 pages of beauracratic papers with 2 pgs. of actual new information that the architect filled out in about 20 min.

On Thursday afternoon, we received a 2nd. stop work order and were given 3 days to comply. On Friday we presented our case to the City via the Maestro de Obra's contacts. We explained that we had the approvals of the Colegio of Engineers and Architects, as well as that of the Min. of Health. We had applied to SENTENA and had the receipt and tracking number to confirm our statement. We also said we could produce several other documents which they may want as well as a tax receipt of all property taxes paid for the year. What was the problem ? -the development is consistent with the land use stated by the City, lower density than zoned for, that we had dealt with rain water as requested by the City, we had paved the street ourselves, and had put in a 24" rain water culvert at our own expense. This is not a controversial use and we have not contravened any of their stated rules or regulations. The bottom line is that we have a stay of execution for at least two weeks after which time it's not certain but we will probably have to show that we are continuing to make progress with SENTENA; SENTENA has a month to turn it around-yea, a month and I'm 10' tall. At least we can continue for the next two weeks with relative ease of mind. It will be full speed ahead!!!!!! We took a calculated risk in pushing on with some construction but complied with their main requests as we interpreted them. It seems to have paid off.

I've given instructions to the maestro de obra (site superintendent) that the near term goal is to have the roof on ALL seven houses two weeks from now. This will allow us to finish the interiors and will protect us from the coming rains. He will need to hire a few more welders and a couple more cement/block people but this is not a problem. Each house is to be worked on each day to advance it. This is to be done without affecting the renovation of 107.

Units 114 / 115 / 116: We finished pouring the collar ties, laying the upper layer of blocks, parging the new block and adding the terrace structure. We'll have the roof on by Wednesday and will be able to begin finishing the interiors and exteriors. They should go fast.

Units 117 / 120: We've poured more columns and collar ties as well as finished the shower stalls. Forming for more columns and collar ties will continue. Now that we got a break on the stop work order (see Permit below), we should be able to get the roof on in the next two weeks. The interiors will finish fast at this stage.

Units 121 / 122 / 123: no progress here-design pending completion of working drawings for 107.


Unit 108: We are working on a number of minor deficiencies. Nothing major. The coral stone for the master bathroom has been ordered; it will take about 2 weeks; the frosted glass and designs has been ordered as well.

Unit 107: We continued to tear it apart as needed and have started to put it back together in it's new life. I had to modify the owner/architect's design because it didn't work well -the ground floor bathroom was too narrow- but a 2am inspiration solved the problem. We now have a great design for this unit and I'm looking forward to putting it together for the owner. Exterior boarding has started, roof restructuring is moving along, new floor slab extension has been poured complete with roughed in plumbing for kitchen and two bathrooms. Granite has been secured for the kitchen counter.

Marketing: I put ads in Sunset and Harper's magazines and have yet to figure out how to place an ad in The Wall Street Journal. I'll begin working on ads for CR publications this next week; I have a person to help with that..

A temporary resident arrived on site as scheduled. Within two days he wants to talk purchase. We'll see. At least one of the purchasers wants to waive the conditions we established for ourselves and I suspect several others do as well. We are exploring advancing the turnover of the units.

Two parties seem to be interested in Unit 116.

VOIP phone: It seems to work some of the time. I haven't yet mastered it.

My Toronto phone number is: 416-907-5758.
My New York number is: 315-279-6711.

Calling either of those numbers rings here. I'm usually here around 6pm CR time.


After Joe and Phil left on Monday, I started getting caught up on paperwork and kept myself available for whatever was required to advance the permits.

I made a significant discovery this week. I have decried the quality of CR beef and have kept looking for something which was edible without first grinding it into mince meat. I happened onto a vacuum wrapped tenderloin which was labeled as black angus tenderloin from Argentina. We cooked it this week and it was equal to any I've had in N. Am. Tender, juicy, flavorful. Absolutely delicious. I now know what to look for and can purchase with confidence.

This next story should fit under the heading of: You know you are getting old when >>>>

We invited a guest to dinner to share our tenderloin of beef. We had the normal crunchy veggies with a curried cheese sauce, hard sliced mango salad which Lita does so well, pene pasta with alfredo sauce, and for desert fresh pineapple and yogurt. The meal was good but our guest didn't eat much. Come to find out toward the end of the meal, he didn't have any lower teeth. From now on, I guess I'll not only have to ask if new guests have any dietary restrictions, but also if they have a full set of teeth! Regardless of that, we had a wonderful time.

Joe and Phil brought some used but unneeded clothing (especially shoes) here which will be distributed to the workers. After walking around in wet concrete, their shoes no longer qualify as dancing slippers. Some of the cabinetry we removed from the renovated houses is being recycled to the workers. It is of no use to us and is prized by them, so... In the future when people ask me if there is anything they can bring, I'm going to suggest used clothing which they no longer need. We all have it and probably don't think about it much. Less and less do I need construction items; sometimes some small dried food sauces are a nice touch but there should still be lots of suitcase room.

Lita is back to her fitness schedule. One of the people on the property is joining her. The parrot squawks when she's not here and finally shuts up. But he get's really excited when she returns. Hugo and I run for cover.

Brian, Lita, Hugo and Vicka (the pigeon toed parrot).

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