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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

January 30 - February 4, 2006 // CONSTRUCTION LOG #69

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.


Pictures: 122 and the west roadway.

The Story: Roadway, new arrivals, and planning the transition.

CONSTRUCTION

Weather: Strange indeed: fantastically perfect during the day and a soft rain almost every night-the garden loves it and we don't mind. In the six years I've been here, I've never seen this much rain. It helps the garden and lessens our dependence on irrigation.

Units 117-120:

117 and 118: Both units are now finished. Unit 118 was again finished just-in-time with the final bed arriving an hour after the occupants arrived. Unit 117 is slated for occupancy Feb. 8-we actually have 4 day's breathing time.

119 and 120: These units should be finished in about three weeks-kitchens are going in -bathroom tile work is nearly done, and a myriad of minor, but important finishing details are yet to be done.

Units 121, 122, and 123:

121: The drywall is ready for painting and the molding is mostly fitted around the windows. Floor tile will follow next week.

122: This unit is now the priority and it is coming together rapidly. If Murphy remains on vacation, it will be ready for the occupants on Feb. 14.

As the stairs pass thru the 2nd. floor, there is an area, about a foot wide. I felt this area would take a beating were it to be finished as painted drywall. I directed the site superintendent to cover it with tile having some type of design. I hadn't had time to follow up on that until I was walking around on Wednesday evening. The design is a fantastic (my opinion) mosaic made from surplus tile we had on site. It beach mural showing sand, sky, palm trees one side and another showing the ocean / sky, and a porpoise jumping. So many of these guys have better ideas than I do and it's fantastic when they exercise them. We had seen some things like this when we took a trip to see what others were doing. I expect my wife and I will incorporate this same idea in our home... I expect the mosaic will include a parrot (maybe a cat ) and if I'm lucky the will be eating the parrot).

123: The floor ceramic is installed and grouted. Interior and exterior moldings are done.

Note: the exterior work is finished on these three homes. We will now begin to landscape them. This will make a big difference in the appearance of this area.

Units 101 and 102: We're waiting for the Min. of Health's approval for the septic system. In the meantime we are planning and preparing for the work.

Electrical System Upgrade: Not much progress... more promises -we're looking for someone to finish it. This experience is fairly typical -"professionals" start but don't finish; talk is better than substance; BS is better than all else. Broken promises and good whining seem to be my experience with what passes for "professionals". (My assessment is based on numerous associations with lawyers, architects, and engineers-give me a tradesman and I'll get the job done.!)

Roadway: This is now done. It makes a big difference in appearance and is quieter since there is not the crunch of gravel. We have to paint the parking lines and no-parking areas yet. That is scheduled for next week.

Lockers: We are laying out the building and planning for the 2nd. floor house. We heard from most of the purchasers re. our proposal and all are in agreement so it looks like it will happen.

Marketing: our purchasers from Florida of units 118 and 119 arrived as scheduled. I've spent time with them purchasing some specialty appliance items and getting them oriented.

I showed some interested people from Hawaii around. They went on a fact finding tour for three nights/four days and tried to contact me on their return. My cell phone relayed the messages three days later so I never caught up with them other than by e-mail now.

We have another purchaser to get settled in this coming week.

Employee Raffle: Over the years and through various stages of this development, we have accumulated a variety of furnishings which we are not likely to need in the future. In addition, there are some useful things in our house which is to be torn down -windows, cabinets, doors, etc. We held a raffle of these items with the workers on Saturday. We put a new life to many of these surplus items and into the hands of the people who help us every day. It was a pleasure to be able to do this. Now our storage area is clear of items we no longer want. This will become the construction warehouse for our two homes. We can begin dismantling the current warehouse and finish the construction of the covered parking area for 4 cars where it now stands.

Note: Internet unreliability: we've experience some disruptions in our internet service this week. Annoying since we want it to be reliable. We believe the problem to be our provider's. If that is the case, we'll have to consider changing from ICE to CableTica. It seems to be a toss up as to who has the better service at any given time.

Transition: We're beginning to focus more and more on managing the property following the construction phase. Mike Newhouse, the property manger for the past several years, will be getting married and will be moving on to other things at the end of February. For now, Paul and I will do the management during this transitionary phase. We'll set up the systems necessary and make sure all is working properly and then take a longer term perspective. Our bookkeeper will be picking up many of the office functions; she's in her training phase now for the next month. She is bilingual and can track the money and look after people accounts as well as our accounts with various organizations as well as the government. She's grown up with the project so is familiar with all aspects of it; this should not be a difficult aspect of the transition. I've also identified a person who we will train as the resident maintenance person. He, too, has grown up with the project so is familiar with many aspects of it. We're beginning to phase him into those aspects that he is not yet familiar with, eg. pool maintenance. I've nearly finished a information / orientation documents which is designed to answer the most frequently asked questions. When completed, this should help residents and new comers to become more familiar with and more self sufficient.

Next Project: We're waiting for the soil studies on the one property we've decided to focus on. We've questioned and have, I think, confirmed the size of the property. Following the results of the soil study, we need to confirm the availability of water or what will be required to ensure we have an adequate and reliable water supply. We've set a goal for ourselves to have this information in time in order to make an offer on Friday.

OUR LIVES

Phil and his family arrived for a week's stay in his house here on site. We spent some time with them when they were not touring the country. They've been are off to the Caribbean coast the last few days. I'm sure they are getting rained on very heavily but they wanted to go to Tortugero and other areas south of Limon. We'll relive their experiences when they return.

Other friends from the marina in Canada arrived Saturday afternoon with their two children; they will be staying for a month.

Our friends and long term residents, Tom and Susan, will be moving to a house in Atenas. It will be sad to see them go and while we won't loose contact with them, it won't be the same-no more coffee and cake and shared dinners.

Since Paul's arrival, he's been thrown right into the swing of things helping out on a number of fronts. He has skills and knowledge that I don't. It's nice to have the help and it's good experience for him getting his feet wet here in Costa Rica.

Sunday afternoon, Lita seems to be organizing a hamburger feast at the pool. It's sunny and warm so it seems like a good idea.

Note: Today is election day. The campaigning has been peaceful yet spirited. Liquor sales have been banned for the past number of days. Fortunately, I had a good supply. Oscar Arias was the front runner but his lead began to fade in the last few days. Whoever wins will likely change the course (?) of the past 4 years. I have my preference but it's not my place to voice it; I'm a guest in the country and avoid political arguments. Each to their own even though those who do not agree with me are wrong headed (my opinion), they are entitled to their opinions.

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

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Unit 122
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West roadway
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