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New Construction

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Phase 3: The construction of the remaining 11 residences.
See what's new: Garden Residences of Río Oro.

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Progress Report

December 11-16, 2006 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #113

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.

Pictures: none -I seem to have lost my camera.

The Story: The well water, the Turnover Meeting, and the Christmas Party.

CONSTRUCTION

Weather: Beautifully perfect punctuated by a few hard rains.

Irrigation system: I have received one design proposal. It is way, way more than I expected and that I believe is justified. I'm exploring it to determine if my expectations were wrong of if the proposer just wants to retire early. In any event, his price is not in the cards.

Unit 126: Construction is completed and the unit is sold. It is largely furnished; only a bit more landscaping and a lamp and three breakfast bar stools remain to be added. It is available for lease.

Turnover Meeting: This was held on Friday afternoon. Paul and I resigned as directors/officers of the company and the shareholders elected a new President, Treasurer and Secretary from the other shareholders. We will work with them to facilitate the change over in management. Paul and I as officers of Residencias Property Management S.A. will remain the property managers and report to the newly elected board of directors.

Rio Oro Development: For security, we have decided to build a small house and have someone live on site. We will be adding security lighting to the area next week. We are waiting on our application for perimeter fencing. We have done a fairly focused review of the conceptual design vis a vis the land; some adjustments are being made to the conceptual design. I think we are being forced to focus more on certain areas and how those areas should be developed. I'm excited by what we are coming up with.

House Resales and Rentals: The re-sale of 108 is still pending for reasons which I don't understand.

Rentals: Unit 110: We have one 1,300 sf 2 bedroom/2bathroom unit available for lease-fully furnished at $1,350 mo or partially furnished at $1,250 mo. Most of the furnishings have been completed.

Unit 126: Studio unit with full kitchen and terrace. Lots of built-ins and very well furnished. Rate depends on length of lease.

Water: Our diagnosis that the well had gone dry was, I now think, premature. However we did run a 1" line of City water to the holding tank. That solution was helpful but really marginal in the longer run. Subsequently, we had a well expert who determined that a control circuit board might be the culprit in shutting down the well pump. We've replaced the circuit board and are now praying that that was, in fact, the problem. Now we are rejoicing and enjoying the taste of the well water vs. the over chlorinated city water.

The Christmas Party: We contributed some money and several of the workers organized a pig feast. Lots of pigs never see New Years here! It was the same as in years past but it is always good fun: a pig cut up at Rio Oro into small chunks and deep fried in its own renderings in big caldrons over a wood fire. Crackings from the skin are a favorite starter. Cole slaw and black beans (which were by far the best I have ever eaten in CR) accompany the deep fried pork pieces. We also bought a few beers, soft drinks and a bottle of tequila. Everyone had a good time; no one got out of control. We had about 20 people this time-smaller than in years past.

We have "liquidated" all of our construction workers and do not plan on any construction work until around Jan. 15. Many will return to Nicaragua to be with their families and hopefully, it's been a good year for them. With us, they have had steady employment-a situation which is abnormal in the construction industry.

OUR LIVES

We were fortunate to have had life long friends of ours join us for 5 days. They got rained out of a sailing trip in Belize and came here early. Two planned days with us turned into 5 days. It was great, really great. Of course we ate and drank too much but.. They had been here just after we had purchased the property five years before. They were amazed at how it had changed and how rapidly we had done it. Approval from him was important to me as we slung hammers together and did everything else required to build when we were a lot younger.

Paul is preparing to leave for three weeks or so. He's done a lot of prep work but I'll remain on site to deal with various issues -of which I'm sure there will be a few.

We are setting up for a quiet period-no construction, a number of people away for holidays, friends not yet arrived, Paul gone -I can't remember a time in CR in the past 4 years that I'm looking at such a quiet period. I might go mad, or read, or if worst comes to worst, actually study Spanish -I now have no valid excuse.

After 6 mo. of talking about it and preparing for it, Paul and I actually had the time to get my Ipod music device going on Sunday. Now I have to learn how to use it but that will follow -and I have 3800 songs to explore!

We have been eating and drinking more than we should-and laughing a lot. It's nice to see that the community I envisaged has happened and now that we've had the turnover meeting, that it will come of age on it's own. It will be interesting to watch how it develops.

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.