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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

November 19-26, 2005  // CONSTRUCTION LOG #59 

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: misc. of all areas under construction-106 / 121 / 122 / 123 and 117-120.

CONSTRUCTION

Weather: The change in seasons is underway - the dry season is definitely on its way. The weather has been beautiful.

Unit 106: Unit 106 A is in the final cleaning stages and will be ready for occupancy on Monday. There will still be a few exterior things to finish. The finishing touches on Unit 106 B should be completed this next week. The upper units C and D are progressing; painting, doors, tile, windows will be starting this next week.

Units 121, 122, and 123: The second floor structural and roof framing of units 123 and 122 are now completed. The substrate roof for 123 is finished and nearly finished for 122. The welders will spend the next week increasing the structural integrity and cross bracing will be added to each unit. We raced ahead with that structure that was required to support the sub roof. Not we will go back and add all the structural elements. Unit 121: the block walls are in place; we are framing the collar tie.

The area around these three units has been cleaned up and the rocks and some plants have been relocated. The next week should see the addition of the walkways.

Units 117-120: We've laid terrace tiles on three units.

Units 101 and 102: I have redesigned the floor plan based on Lita's comments. I now have what I hope is a final draft.

Electrical System Up grade: We continue to wait for ICE's approval on the transformer. Our cables are pulled, ready for connection. The meter bases are in waiting for ICE. The electricians have been focusing on finishing 106 and on roughing in on 123 and 122.

Walkways and landscaping: We've done some clean up and the addition of good dirt in preparation for the final landscaping. We've re-started the tiling of the walkways where the construction is now complete.

Cabletica and TV / Internet Service: As I write, the next phase of Cabletica installers are on site installing the splitters to which we will attach the house feed cables and each household can then set up their account for the service package they way. We will continue to provide our high speed wireless service at an advantageous price.

Marketing: Lita is probably the biggest distributor of brochures. We've had several clients from these. I'm having more printed.

The e-mail campaign is now finished. We ended up getting a number of additional leads.

We're beginning to work with a group of investors interested in purchasing multiple units. They plan on visiting during the second week in December.

Next Project: Paul and I plan to viewed some beach front property on Wednesday. This property resulted from my trip the previous week. The land was interesting-about 2 hrs. from San Jose, just 15 minutes south of Puntarenas and 10 min. north of Puerto Caldero, the Pacific international container port. The CR owner has 77 hectares or about 175 acres of land. He's taken it through the zoning process and is willing to divide it up into chunks. He's looking for builders. One area not fully developed on his site plan is a beach front knoll of about 3.4 hectares (7 acres) which fronts onto the public beach, river on one side, public road on another. It has a very steep incline from the beach and from the upper area, it commands some pretty special views of the ocean, and mountains. This is the section which most captured our interest. The problem is that the sand is black volcanic and the location is near the bottom of the Gulf of Nicoya and south of Puntarenous; that means the water is not that clean. The problem I have is looking for an answer as to why would I want to travel 2 hrs. from San Jose for the view????? Re. price? Don't know; the ball is in the vendor's hands.

Other: I'm in the process of commissioning a feasibility study on a product which I feel has potential here. I've wanted to do this for a number of years but have now found someone who wants to run with it. Perhaps at the end of the study I'll have a new opportunity or be able to put the product to bed. The proposal has been reviewed and it has been sent to others for review. I want to make sure we ask the right questions such that we have a useful document when we are finished.

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

Last week I wrote: Between a root canal and future restorative work, a cold, being the meat in the sandwich and getting chewed on , and a computer problem, it's been a rather lousy week for me and not much better for Lita.

A prompt rely from friends in Canada was:

Just thought you'd like to know Friday Nov. 18 we had our first major snow fall that stayed on the ground. I was working on a roof in Pickering fixing a no heat call. I left the sight at 3pm it took me till 5pm to get back to the Beach and I was driving in the opposite direction of traffic. Its been dark cold and damp for the last few weeks and each day it gets a little colder.

If you really want to have a lousy week I suggest you return to Toronto. I don't want to read any more about your lousy weeks in paradise. All we have to look forward to is escaping Canada and returning to CR, so stop raining (snowing) on our parade.

I think I'll take the root canal any day.

Conclusion: "good" and "lousy" are relative; how soon we change our yardsticks.

I've found myself pretty stressed out this week on a number of issues:

Last week I found myself the "meat in the sandwich being chew on"; That issue has been resolved and all returned to the previous state which was fine. Life will continue without damage.

The "overview" issue of several weeks ago is largely settled with the admission that this is an important issue and a resolution has been arrived at which was supplied by the affected party. Due process and consultation did it.

Most purchasers are straight forward and honor the agreement. Honest disagreements might arise; those can usually be dealt with. A few people (purchasers) like to squeeze for more just before closing and engage in a game I call "silly-bugger"- it seems to be the way they negotiate, live their life, and it does not endear me to them. In my previous building experience, perhaps 20% of purchasers might be so described. Usually at the end of a project, a developer is strapped for cash and needs to close; in this situation, the developer normally just bends over and... I know, I've been there. I vowed never to be in that situation again. In fact, I'm now in the enviable position of not giving a damn if a purchaser closes or not because I know I can sell the unit and probably for more than I did the first time. Regardless, the past experience has been brought back to me by a person wanting to play silly-bugger. He can't win because I hold the trump card-I don't care! This game should end Monday.

And now the case of an honest issue: One of our purchasers was always behind the curve on changes made to the unit he / they were interested in purchasing. Since no commitment had been made, I changed the orientation of the unit and that improved the end result. I also changed the price which had been based on a lesser view. This latter change seems not to have been fully or clearly communicated by the agents who were handling this transaction. When it came time for the first payment, this discrepancy came to light. Obviously the purchaser was concerned and so was I since my credibility was at issue here. We had never met and he had / has never been to the project-this was a sight un-seen purchase (in fact, their second one). He chronicled the events as he knew them; I did the same. We identified where the breakdown (unintentional) seems to have occurred; in normally prefer direct communications partially for this reason. We are now back on track. He / they wrote:

Thank you for the explanation/clarification. Of course we were aware of and pleased by the design and orientation changes, just didn't translate into more $$. Yes, we're disappointed, but we know we're still getting good value, so we'll just leave it at that. And a $5K discount is still a $5K discount. You communicate your passion for the project well, and I like that a lot.

Here's a person I'm going to enjoy building for and having a drink with later.

One of the things which makes my current situation different than previously is that my partner is also a builder and has experienced the same things; we can understand what's going on and are like minded in dealing with it.

Our Thanksgiving party of last Sunday was great. We had 37 people on a bright, sunny afternoon. Lots of delicious food-two turkeys, ham, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetables, cakes, pies, wine, meat balls, etc. This week we've enjoyed the remnants.

Tonight we take the maestro de obra (site superintendent) and his wife to dinner.

My dental work continues: Lita continues with the gym and with the distribution of brochures. She's enjoying it; I hope she get rewarded and I'm able to pay her a commission.

Hugo and Vicka, the parrot, seem to be doing fine.

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

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Unit 106
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Unit 121
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Unit 122
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Unit 123
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Miscellaneous
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