From Critic to Booster...

ISSUE #676: Sept. 10-16, 2017


Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly newsletter -determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of Lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have re-sales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

Brian Timmons
Developer / Property manager
Residencias Los Jardines


rentals & sales

Paradisus Condos / Rohrmoser
Visit our website

Paradisus Condos - click to visit

Each of the units consists of two bedrooms / two bathrooms, and a large living/dining/kitchen area. The floor plan of each of these units has eliminated the optional "den / office" divider. The result is a larger area offering more flexible furniture arrangements while still maintaining the option of including an office area. At 105m2 plus two parking spots each and storage locker, they offer a great opportunity for someone seeking views, security, central location, and first class, all round living...

Semi furnished unit: For sale: $235,000
Fully furnished unit: For sale: $245,000
Floor 12 -west view

Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #106A, #114 and #124

Rentals: Paradisus: 12-3 is available, semi-furnished - $1,150.
Los Jardines: Units #106C and #106D are available for rent

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #106A: $ 165,000 / See Unit
Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 135,000 / See Unit

Unit #106C: $ 1,150 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit
Unit #106D: $ 1,150 mo / Available Immediately / See Unit

For sale

UNIT #106A
$ 165,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Apartment
Furnished: Yes

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two units on the ground floor and two units on the 2nd. floor. Each unit is the same size (1,250sf) divided into 800 sf of interior space and 450 sf of covered front and back terraces. Units 106A and B are on the ground floor; Units 106 C and D are on the 2nd. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5" concrete slab prevent sound transference.

UNIT #114
$ 199,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 2 bedroom/2bathroom,1,290 sf single floor end unit home includes a 150 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. This house is fully air conditioned and has recently been professionally decorated by international decorator Alcides Graffe and has undergone a complete renovation—new modern furniture, finishings, window coverings, and art work by Carlos Gambino. It is arguably the nicest furnished unit at Residencias Los Jardines and only steps from the pool

UNIT #124
$ 135,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, + covered parking for one car, is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple.

For rent

UNIT #106C
$ 1,150 mo.
Available Immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: 4-plex
Furnished: Yes

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two units on the ground floor and two units on the 2nd. floor. Each unit is the same size (1,250sf) divided into 800 sf of interior space and 450 sf of covered front and back terraces. Units 106A and B are on the ground floor; Units 106 C and D are on the 2nd. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5” concrete slab prevent sound transference.

UNIT #106D
$ 1,150 mo.
Available Immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1227
Total area (Sq M): 113
Bedrooms: 1 + den (bedroom possible)
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: apartment in 4 plex
Furnished: Yes

This 2nd story, 1,227 sf (113 m2 + one parking space) )is a georgous home with one of the best views at Los Jardines. The very large front covered terrace faces west and is suitable for entertaining; the off-bedroom covered terrace faces east for sun sets. This very tastefully furnished and fully equipped home offers a lifestyle envied by many. The owner offers financing if desired.

Our Lives

Weather: Mostly partly sunny, normal rainy weather, no wind, temperatures 25º C / 78º F – beautiful...

From Critic to Booster: For the past 5 years, I have been a critic of many ill conceived and poorly executed decisions at Los Jardines and for the continued lack of maintenance. Only a few listened and none of those were in decision making positions and were, like me, not listened to. In fact, our bleating were belittled and we were pillared. I concluded that we would drive ourselves into the ground and at some point, something would happen and then, and only then would eyes open, attitudes change, and perhaps, then there would be a renaissance with new heroes. For those reading this over the past month, that time has come and the proverbial "light" has come on. The full extent of our status is still be assessed but from what I hear, it is consistent with my assessment and bleating... I have some ideas why this "darkness" happened and my thoughts are not kind so will not share those. I hope those who didn't listen and didn't want to know recognize themselves, give themselves a shake, and promise not to be so naive and gullible in the future. I wonder at why so many eyes were wide shut but am more interested to focus on eyes wide open. I have become a booster and cheerleader... it feels much better and I really believe we are now on the right path. It may take a year or more to dig ourselves out of our current state but we can and I believe we will.

Foreclosure: the debtor said he wants to leave without a scene. Fine. I gave him to the end of the month... and then what...??? I don't know, I'll have to figure this one out...

Surgery: This has been recovery week. Slowly and without complications -well almost- I don't expect to be running marathons next week but can look forward to my / our normal morning walk... in a week or so...

A Problem Tenant: I remembered a clause in the lease the new owner inherited and appraised her of how she can leverage this guy if he continues to be a problem. It has been so long that I had to use it that I had forgotten about it. I found it effective in the past and only had to announce that at a certain time, I would shut off the water as per the contract... While this cannot usually be done in CR, I was advised that I could at Los Jardines because there are alternate sources of water and sanitation... therefore, shutting off the water becomes an inconvenience, not a health issue. So be it... My experience the few times I had to invoke this, was that the tenant either paid or moved. I didn't care. I will let the new owner decided if she wishes to exercise this option. Not my problem.

Problem Tenant #2: My friend who's unit I manage at Paradisus, has had a less than desirable tenant for some time. The tenant was frequently delinquent and short as well as a source of various neighbor issues. He did a midnight exit this week... that is the unit which is now vacant. It will be cleaned and whatever repairs are required.... and available again for rental this week.

Market Activity: NOT MUCH... one viewing...

News Items of the Week


1. Nature Walk: interesting... overly long, self congraulatory, back slapping, infomercial but nice to see the idea. I don't think I will live to see the completion of nor perhaps even the extension of phase 1

2. State of School Buildings: Surprise... the schools are falling apart along with the pubic education system. Regardless of the government propaganda about the "literacy" rate in CR, the quality of education in the public system is abysmal and the quality of teachers is also... don't let anyone lead you to believe otherwise... as is the "popular" government mantre (this is typical of CR... no maintenance... same thing which happened with Los Jardines (my opinion)

3. Town Center: new medium sized development slated for Santa Ana. Click on the promotional video. Also happening in downtown Santa Ana is a major project... and I really don't know what it is all about. There was a recreational field / futbol field in the center of town. That is now gone, the who are is torn up by heavy equipment and the only signage I see is suggests a "university"... mmmmm...

1. Construction set to begin on San José-spanning riverwalk

After a year of hard work, the Costa Rican NGO Rutas Naturbanas has eagerly announced that construction is set to begin on the first stretch of the project’s planned 25-kilometer ecological urban pathway throughout San José. The process of building the first kilometer, already fully financed and designed, will begin following a month-long period during which members of the public are invited to comment on the plans.

The ambitious riverwalk seeks to eventually connect three key San José locations: La Sabana Park on the western side of the city, La Paz Park to the south, and the sports facilities of the University of Costa Rica to the east. The goal of the initiative is to allow people to walk, bike, run or skate across the city on riverbank paths.

At a press conference at the Hotel Presidente, in downtown San José, Rutas Naturbanas’s co-founders revealed that the first kilometer will connect Barrio Escalante – specifically, the bridge known as the Puente de los Incurables – with the Simón Bolívar Zoo in Barrio Amón. The construction of this first kilometer will be completely financed by the Costa Rican construction company H. Solís.

In addition to H. Solís, Rutas Naturbanas sponsors include Dentons Muñoz, Hotel Presidente, the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), Fílmika Producción y Postproducción, Tree Interactive, Kracol, Eureka Comunicación and Findasense.

A year ago, Rutas Naturbanas was only an idea created by Federico Cartín (SUM Consulting), Dana Víquez and José Vargas (PPAR Studio), Alonso Briceño (Río Urbano), Carlos Velázques (Amigos del Río Torres), Henry Bastos (GAM Cultural), Roberto Guzmán (Chepecletas), and Giancarlo Pucci (Árboles Mágicos). They set out to turn San José’s neglected waterways into a major asset in the quest for urban renewal by transforming land along the Torres and María Aguilar Rivers into a natural corridor through the capital.

Now, this group has managed to create a public private alliance between the central government, municipalities including San José and Goicoechea, local urban collectives, H. Solís, and, most importantly, Costa Rican citizens.

“A year ago, citizens were invited to take a look at its rivers, stop turning their backs on them, and remember that a few kilometers away from here, at the Torres River, there still are sloths, toucans and many other species. They remind us these rivers are still alive and that there’s a possibility to connect the city through its rivers,” Giancarlo Pucci said.

The first phase of the project was carried out by PPAR Studio. During this phase the characteristics of the proposed pathways were meticulously studied in order to develop routes that do not interfere with the surrounding nature and facilitate transit in the most natural way possible.

PPAR architects José Vargas and Dana Víquez said at the press conference that after studying the topography and trees in the area, they developed a plan for the infrastructure that match the river’s terrain and vegetation. Each tree was classified by its size, maturity and biological contribution in order to avoid cutting down trees during the construction of the pathway.

The first section of the pathway will be 3.5 meters wide and 2.5 meters high, with minimal impact on the landscape, taking advantage of the pathway’s natural assets. These include a forested area in which people will walk in the shade, a colorful area with intense flower blooms, and a more tropical area with characteristic Costa Rican vegetation.

“Rutas Naturbanas is, for our management, the representation of our most important value: a legacy. Leaving our children a better society in which they can live,” said H. Solís Director Roberto Acosta. “To help create a city in which we can really enjoy the rivers, teach [children] to protect them and take care of them. A place in which we can find that perfect balance between development and sustainability.”

Throughout the project, the support from local neighbors, public institutions and businesses has been a key element. The first kilometer alone required the approval of the landowners along the path, including Carlos María Ulloa Elderly Home, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT), the Colegio México, the INVU, the Polideportivo in Aranjuez, Fundazoo, the Brenes, Ruzisca and Paz families, Instagreen, Spirogyra butterfly farm, and Medical Corp S.A.

This is just the beginning of a bigger dream for Rutas Naturbanas Director Federico Cartín.

“Today marks the beginning of a dream in which a group of citizens bet on a crazy idea and it’s becoming a reality. For those of us who are part of the project, it’s a beautiful story of collaboration and union,” Cartín said at Wednesday’s event. “Rutas Naturbanas and Costa Rica prove today that we can work together: NGOs, civil organizations, neighbors, private businesses and the public institutions. We can work together and do beautiful things.

“We’re capable of really directing our own destiny and take responsibility for the country we have and we want to leave behind,” Cartín said.

“Today this project becomes a reality, because in between intelligence and reason, there’s something very important called passion,” said San José Mayor Johnny Araya.

2. Report notices poor performance in public schools is tied with poor conditions with the facilities
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The students of the Costa Rican public school system see their performance negatively affected by the poor infrastructure conditions of their classrooms and schools.

According to the Sexto Reporte del Estado de la Educación, there is a significant deterioration in the structures and equipments of schools. In addition, there are adverse environmental conditions such as noise, poor light and inadequate temperatures, elements that generate concentration and learning problems.

The Estado de la Educación is a study published every year through the Estado de la Nación project, which seeks to evaluate the country in different development criteria. The current government has invested and executed more than $346 million to attend schools and colleges, an amount that is still not enough, according to Walter Muñoz, director of Dirección de Infraestructura y Equipamiento Educativo.

Muñoz said that, while infrastructure helps the educational process, this is not decisive, since in many cases depends more on the attitudes of students.

One of the challenges for the next governments will be to create a new management model for the Boards of Education.

This model includes consultancy services along the processes of contracting, review and inspection of the works, as they board members often lack this knowledge.

At the moment, 103 officials of the Direction are in charge of attending near 4,800 educational centers, which hinders the speed and the quality of the attention.

"We need more staff and a decentralization of management, and avoid concentrations here in San Jose, by building several branches in the country," he said.

3. Santa Ana: Town Center


Brian C. Timmons
Property Manager RLJ and Newsletter Author

Costa Rica:
Cell: (+506) 8305-3965
Land line: (+506) 2282-4142 Ext. 101

VOIP: (+416) 461-2203


Previous reports