With a CoSP issued on our Casa del Lagarto Azul (AV25) in Loreto Bay, I’ve been trying to get all my ducks lined up. On the top of my list of concerns was the status of electricity, propane, water, telephone/cable and sewage for the Agua Viva phase of the development.
I was fortunate enough to reach both Jesus G. and Luis A. from Loreto Bay Company down in Loreto Baja.
Even though Jesus was busy responding to emails from homeowners getting ready to fly down for the Homeowner’s Weekend he took time out to speak with me regarding the responses I got from my latest RFI. My biggest concern was the utilities connection to the home which Jesus suggested I talk to Luis Amare about to get the best answers.
Before we ended the conversation, he did say that he has fielded many concerns from homeowners that have read a blog entry on this site and started off conversations with, “Loni says…” If you do this, please do also tell him he looks great in this interview video.
I then spoke with Luis Amare, Director of Architecture, about the utilities infrastructure for the Agua Viva phase. Here is my understanding from the notes I took this afternoon:
Electricity: The grid and transformers for the first 3-4 clusters of Agua Viva are in place and they are making connections to the individual homes. Because of safety reasons, the actual electricity will not be turned on until all the homes associated with the particular grid are hooked up because of safety reasons. This is on track and should be completed in the upcoming week.
Water: The main piping for this is in place and individual homes are being hooked up. As homes are being hooked up, the water needs to be turned off so during this process there is sometimes water going through pipes and other times not. This is why the photo we received from Tony and Anne of the jetted tub in our home had water in it.
Sewage: The main sewage lines are also going into Agua Viva and individual homes are being hooked onto it.
Telephone/cable: The cable to to the new development is currently being installed by Road 9. They are installing the main lines and then will need to connect to individual homes.
To set this in context, these utilities were suppose to be completed by end of January per schedule, but due to change in management to the interim group (Replay Resorts management contract had expired), there was a pause in infrastructure build out as the new management assessed the cash flow of the operations. Now that the transition to the interim management is complete, work has resumed on the infrastructure and Luis estimates the progress is a couple of weeks behind schedule.
By far the most challenging issue is supplying Agua Viva with propane as gas water heaters (with solar assistance) and gas stoves did not exist in the Founder’s phase.
Initially they had considered providing each home with its own propane tank but had reservations on the attractiveness of such a deployment to current and future homeowners. Instead, LBC has decided to have a main propane source which would deliver propane to homes via pipes. The design of this system has been going through a long government permitting process and has received overall approval. Government inspectors have to also review the outfitting of the propane in each of the homes so all of this takes time. In the meantime, there will be a temporary source of propane hooked up so that those who move in will get hot water and gas coming from the stove.
Luis also noted that overall construction is picking up. Prior to the holidays there were about 1,000 workers on site. Since the holidays, that number has been down to 300 workers. However, more workers are coming to the development and they hope to continue to ramp up the workers and construction activity.
This week, two (2) more homes should be complete and next week another five (5) homes will be issued their CoSP.
Besides construction, LBC has also been busy trying to help some homeowners secure loans for their homes. More buyers than expected who were planning to finance their homes are having difficulty getting the loans needed. Some lots are ready and when the pre-construction milestone is billed, the homeowner does not have the funds to start.
Overall, I really enjoyed speaking with both Luis and Jesus and expressed my relief and appreciation that through all the ownership changes, both of them and many of the other on-site managers have been consistent. When I called them, both of them responded and spent quite a bit of time with me going over what they know of the situation. From both conversations, I really felt that Luis, Jesus and the rest of the team working at the construction site are committed to the success of Loreto Bay.
I also expressed to them that they probably hear many times about homeowner issues, but that we all do appreciate the work they have been putting into our homes. I for one, love the community and our Casa del Lagarto Azul. There may be a couple issues here and there but I never lose sight of the fact that, if Loreto is the “soul of the Sea of Cortez”, then our little Lagarto is the heart.
So for those homeowners heading out to the Loreto Bay homeowner weekend, it would be great if you can also tell them, “Loni says mucho gracias!”