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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

Jan. 23-29, 2005 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #16

Construction

Synopsis: A normal pace. We dropped 7 employees and now have about 34.

Price increases: Normally, building material prices increase in January-especially drywall and steel. We had asked to be notified in advance. We got a call-Densglas by 11%, drywall and drywall related products 3%-5%. We did an estimate of what we would require and bout $25,000. Steel: no word yet but since it has increased about 90% over the past year, maybe it will rest for a while.

Renovations

Unit 103: we finished installing the pictures and wall decorations. Curtains are also installed.

Unit 104: Significant progress has been made on this unit. Interior boarding is 80% complete; floor tile installed; kitchen and bedroom cabinetry ordered. Roof tile is beginning to be installed. It will be substantially finished by this time next week. The current absentee tenant is expected to return mid February.

Unit 108: It's torn apart, ready for reconstruction. All interior partitions and features are stripped out, west side of the roof has been removed, terrace roof gone, and a number of exterior panels have been removed, ready for reconstruction. That will begin in earnest on Monday.

The floor plan and a proposed set of finishes is off for review and approval by the prospective purchaser as I write this.

Bodega

The exterior is completed and windows are installed. All the storage shelving is in place. Tiling of the laundry area is nearly completed after which attention will be directed to the bathroom. We have started to landscape the exterior. Some plants were placed on the parking lot side, a large tree was relocated, and walkways were poured on Saturday morning. They will be tiled and the landscaping completed next week.

Marketing

It appears that we have more buyers and renters than we have available product. The demand, however, is for the renovated units-no attention being paid to the new units. This is both rewarding and concerning. Units 107 and 105 has been spoken for definitively.

Based on my current knowledge of people wanting a renovated unit, I've searched for a solution which, came to me in the middle of the night. The question which was looking for a solution was what to do with 102 and 106. 102 is the duplexed unit which has been modified from the 108 floor plan and now includes two additional rooms on the ground floor. Unit 106 is a 450 sf. unit awkwardly located such that it has a HUGE back yard.

Future Design -102: Conceptually, within the current footprint of 102, I can create a two story building and have on each floor a self contained, two bedroom, two bathroom unit. Each will be nice in that the ground floor has the rancho and orchid garden associated with it and the 2nd. Floor has a magnificent view of the property and the valley and mountains. It has a premier location.

Future Design -106: Conceptually, I can create two one bedroom w/ den units on the ground floor and probably a two bedroom/two bathroom unit on the 2nd. Floor. This will involve razing the current structure, temporarily relocating the current tenant, and getting them to buy into one of the ground floor units for themselves (they are long term residents, living on fixed incomes, and friends-all of this complicates a simple business decision).

I'll be initiating conversations with those people who are currently wait listed. Ideally, I'd like to have a rough idea of the floor plans and renderings of what might be created.

Legal

The loan agreements for vendor financing and the trust agreement with the lawyer are being drafted and reviewed.

New Construction

Permits: The architect finally realized his problem. When the drawings were submitted to the Colegio Federal of architects and engineers, they were recorded as "condominiums" and are in the system as such. He had to get this changed before he could make any progress. We are suppose to hear the results from the health dept. on Tuesday -fully more than a month behind schedule. One would have thought this would have (and should have) be caught at the beginning but...

Virtually all the walls interior and exterior of the 5 houses have their rough coat of parging in place. We will work on completing the two remaining houses. We can't go much further on this. We might continue with placing some of the re-bar framed reinforcing cages along the collar ties - we'll see.

Our lives

Illness: This is my big story. Friday-Monday of last weekend, I was hammered by something awful-very sore throat, swollen glands, blurred vision, violent chills, pounding head, aching body, virtually no sleep for 4 nights, etc. I suspected a cold but as time went on, it didn't progress in the normal way. On Tuesday I went to a local doctor. She pronounced "very bad, streptococcal infection". She shot something in my butt, started me on a 5 day regime of IV antibiotics with a saline chaser. The last application was this morning. I'm alive and feeling fine. The antibiotics have made all food taste awful so I haven't been eating much, and worst of all, no booze, and this is when my birthday presents all consisted of bottles of rum -I wonder if my friends know something about me???? So a few more days of fruit and yogurt.

Lita: had organized a "surprise birthday" party for me last Sunday. For 20 yrs. Never failed to have a "surprise" party. Only this time, I didn't turn up. She reconvened the party for coffee and cakes on Monday night -again I didn't show up. After all that substantial work she took it upon herself to wash bedding for three households -ours with my sister as guest, Keith, and 103 in which we were housing some guests. These guests left on Tuesday with an expected return on Jan. 31. They showed up last night wanting their unit back saying that Manuel Antonio park was less satisfactory than Los Jardines. Lita was right there making their bed and dusting their unit. They will be here until the 31st.

When you realize that Lita is 95% blind, these feats become even more astounding. I have on several occasions over the past three weeks, just completely lost it and have found myself crying uncontrollably. It is so very hard watching your wife go blind and knowing there is absolutely nothing medical science and technology can do. NOTHING!!!! It's hard to imagine when we watch the miracles on TV but the bare, start, reality is there are some things which are beyond current capability. Her spirit and determination defy explanation and her coping methods are hear wrenching -thus my periodic emotionalism.

My sister returns to California on Tuesday.

Ex workmate Milton and his wife are in the area with other friends. They stopped by for a few minutes -I was busy positioning a tree-; they will return to stay with us for a few days beginning Feb. 4.

Brian, Lita, Hugo, and Vicka.

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