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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

December 4-10, 2005 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #61 

Contact phone numbers

Internet Phone:
New York 315-279-6711 // Toronto 416-907-5758

Costa Rica:
Cell 506-305-3965 // Land 506-282-4142 Ext. 101

NOTE: our land line in CR has changed;
we are now integrated into the compound network.


Pictures: seven pictures

CONSTRUCTION

Weather: The weather continues to be "perfect"; the dry season is definitely here and the breezes confirm it. We have switched from rainwater management to irrigation mode.

Unit 106: Unit 106 B is not yet finished. The purchaser made several changes to decisions which he had previously made and we had installed. The kitchen, vanities, and bedroom cabinets are installed. I would like to think this unit will be ready this time next week.

106 D: Changes here were made as well. Cabinets are yet to be installed but some are on site.

106 C: the floor is tiled and awaiting grouting. The kitchen is ready for installation and the walls ae ready for their first coat of finish painting..

Units 121, 122, and 123:
121: The sub-floor is framed. When the electrical and plumbing systems are roughed-in around Wednesday, it will be ready for pouring concrete.

122: All the structural steel is in place. The white coat and the drywall taping is finished on the ground floor. The entrance and ground floor terrace areas have been defined.

123: The ground floor ceiling has been boarded and taped and the first white coat is on the ground floor. The remaining structural steel is nearly finished.

Units 117-120: Floors in three of these units are now tiled and kitchens are being installed in two. The exteriors of the buildings have been stuccoed and landscaping has begun.

Units 101 and 102: No further progress on these.

Landscape lighting: We've gotten all system working again and have identified areas which need attention. The electrician is working on these. When finished, it will be FANTASTIC. The views from anywhere on the property and from the second floors of the two story homes, will be incredible.

Electrical System Up grade: We continue to wait for ICE's approval on the transformer.

Walkways and landscaping: I ordered tiles for the walkways but they don't nos exist. I'm back to working on this.

Storage Lockers: The survey continues. As Developers, we don't care that much; as residents we have our own opinions. In this case, we go with the shareholder's wants.

Marketing: Beginning Sunday, we are hosting 6 people who are looking us over . A series of meetings is set up. They also want to view our next project.

Two people viewed us and we blew their minds. One was considering Costa Rica and the other had purchased in BC to achieve a better lifestyle. While here on a golfing holiday, they looked around at 10+ projects including Los Jardines. They saw possibilities here that completely stunned them and I'm sure, was the topic of conversation on the golf course.

Next Project: The two hectare site we viewed last week was zoned industrial; we've lost interest. HOWEVER

We've found another site which is about 3.75 hectares (9 acres), located about 8 minutes west of our current location (between Piedades de Santa Ana and Ciudad Colon, midway on the hill. It is a very irregular piece of land (like many of the lots here) . It has magnificent views of the valley from almost every position. It has LOTS of possibilities; Paul, my partner is ecstatic and I am definitely interested. It is too large for the two of us although the vendor is willing to subdivide to possibly fit our wallet. While this might work for us, we are exploring the possibility of bring in others. We'll see what we can put together. Stay tuned.

Comment 1: The Value of Partnership: While there are always downsides to partnership, there can be upsides as well-given the right partner. While Lita and I were in Nicaragua, my partner made several decisions. When I returned I learned about them and I confess, I was perturbed. We clashed-ego, pride, and previous "baggage" on my part fueled my fire. After a day, I realized, and came to admit, he was right. We made our peace, to the benefit of all parties concerned (me included) and have moved on. This might not always be the case, but it does show that experience, maturity, and the perspective two likeminded people with building backgrounds can bring to the benefit of the project. I believe it is inevitable that partners will clash at times; if you don't, you have to ask yourself ,why do I need the other person? The strength of a partnership is how each can help the other succeed.

Comment 2: As we get closer to completion, the eye candy gets added, the landscaping is finished, and the garden lighting is extended, I have concluded that my purchasers and my partner were right all along-I priced the units too low. Next time, my partner will be more involved in the pricing. I take comfort in the fact that the purchasers of Los Jardines got good value, in fact, excellent value and I can only hope they will become client referees and Los Jardines will become our marketing marquee for the next project.

Other: The feasibility study: It's on-going; I'm awaiting the results.

Useful Websites on Costa Rica

http://www.therealcostarica.com/default.html
http://groups.msn.com/CRLeBoard
http://www.arcr.net/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CostaRicaLiving/ http://welovecostarica.com

OUR LIVES

This was a tremendously busy week: trip to Granada, Mike's surprise 60th birthday party, arrival of a friend and his buddy, construction change notices and various site design issues, new project considerations, preparation for the employee Christmas party, preparations for 6 unknown clients, periodontal work, etc.

One of our personal friends and purchaser arrived here this week with a buddy. As always, it was great to see him. It was also interesting to see he and my partner share their personal family stories over an after dinner conversation. (I knew each person's story and knew them to be similar but they didn't know the parallelism. They found their histories to be amazingly similar, even knowing some of the same people. They now know each other better and can relate. There is a possibility of a new friendship for both and a common bond-Costa Rica and Los Jardines and who knows where that will lead. Life is full of possibilities...

Wednesday night, Mike Newhouse, my property manager, turned 60. His brother from Kansas organized a "surprise" birthday party. He asked me to help make it happen. We had about 25 people at a local restaurant and the biggest surprise was his brother's presence. It was a lot of fun for all.

Driving in Costa Rica: It can be a frustrating experience here.! This story typifies many people's experience: Having tried to go to the airport a number of times and having gotten lost each time, my friend just lost it. He sifted his manual transmission so hard he broke off the shifter linkage. He's now carless, frustrated, concerned about the repair bill, embarrassed, etc. After talking this through, he now knows here he habitually made his error. I spent about three years getting lost on a regular basis. I've seen an awful lot of the country I never planed on seeing but now, when I'm sometimes disoriented, I usually recognize a place I've been to before when lost. Sometimes you just loose it here unless you can view driving as an adventure and enjoy the process. If you happen to get to where you want, when you want, consider yourself fortunate.

Employee Christmas Party: Saturday we sponsored the annual Christmas party which consists of a huge pig fry, black beans, rice, cabbage and carrot salad, tortillas, soft drinks, beer, music, etc. Everyone has a great time. We had about 60 people. The cabinet maker supplied the wood to boil the cut up pork chunks in big cauldrons (chicirones), the work tables became the serving tables, and everyone had a great time-they ate their fill, has a couple beers, relaxed, etc.

GRANADA: our third time there and we continue to love it. The city is so full of old world life, culture, charm, and new world restaurants, internet cafes, and way over priced (in my opinion) real estate but what a wonderful place to spend a few days.

The highway from San Jose to Liberia was bad; relatively good from Liberia to Rivas, Nicaragua, and then really bad. The tires and suspension system of the busses take a real beating and the driver just can't miss all the potholes. But, true to form, three good movies and our picnic lunch had us arriving in good spirits. The hotel was waiting for us, in fact, they had thrown a party for us... well not for us but we crashed it with open bar and great food. It seems the owner, who actually invited us to join, was throwing a 15th birthday party for his daughter.

Granada was having a 9 day long festival honoring something or someone. Every evening about 3.000 mostly teenagers, gathered in the main square. Lots of young, young girls clinging onto babies; everyone is mostly well behaved. A float of the Virgin Mary is paraded around the square; the church bells sound off, and then... the homemade firecrackers, roman candles and rocket launchers are set off. The fire crackers are LOUD and the flights path of the rockets, being crudely hand made on bamboo launch sticks, are unpredictable.. they mostly go up but not all and some take an unplanned course into buildings and the crowd. Some phosphorous rockets rain down on the crowd, and then, if that isn't dangerous enough, some young guys strap on a saddle like apparatus loaded with fireworks and rush around in a more or less controlled area sometimes lunging into the crowd. They must wear an asbestos suit underneath (at least one hopes so) because it has to be very, very dangerous.

Around 9:30 the event is over for that night. We head to a watering hole and wonder how many people have been burned and how they can get such a crowd of young people. The answer seems simple: they have no television, and this is the only entertainment in town. At 4:30 in the morning the firecrackers start again. A brass band goes around the city with the statue of the Virgin Mary//anyone paying a some of money gets a loud song which can be heard for blocks.

Our favorite steak house is better than ever --for $9 I had the best tenderloin I've had in years. For $5, Lita had a whole butter flied, grilled breast of chicken in orange sauce , grilled potatoes, garlic toast and condiments, vegetables, rice, green salad, --magnificent... and the margaritas are the standard to which all others are compared. Actually, the same is the case for Lita's pina colada (without alcohol).

The next night, it's Mexican, and I have my chicken mole and Lita has a hearty tortilla soup//both are magnificent... and then it's back to the steak house for another fix. This could --read that as, "IS" becoming be habit forming...

There continues to be restoration / renovation /construction work in Granada. The main boulevard to the lake is under construction; it appears they are putting in a new water service

Our new hotel --27 rooms and about 4 months old-- is fine except that it could use a little more refinement; Not to be critical but-- the slope in the shower is wrong, the bathroom is too large at the expense of having no place to put travel bags and to hang clothes, the pillows are very small and they do not have extras (we asked), they do not seem to have an extra set of towels as we have to wait until the afternoon wash arrives back for clean towels, the floors are high gloss tile which are slippery as hell on the wet bathroom floor, the fan is not balanced and clatters, the bed is very soft... but for $22 per night for two people, I can't complain too much. it is clean, esthetically pleasing, the staff are attentive... some aspects are just not well thought out.. like so much construction in Central America

Brian, Lita, Hugo and irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot.

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