Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Two steps forward, one step back....

Days ago we were haggling with Bob Toubman, our condominium administrator about our renegade attempt to install a front step. After three years of a promised step we decided to make it happen ourselves. However, we willfully neglected to apply to the design committee, instead designing the step on the fly. We had seized the opportunity and by-God we were going to get our step. Of course, we were ordered to cease, prompting me to begin the plea process, only to be given permission anyway just days later. Too easy, I mused.

Had I known what was brewing I could have seen how insignificant our issue was.

We were away over the weekend when the news of the ultimate demise of the Loreto Bay Company was announced. We all saw it coming, but the sudden announcement caught everyone by surprise, even the employees. There is just no more money coming, no funds to continue operations. The hope that a buyer for the project would step up seems to have de-materialized and we are left with only guesses to what the future holds for us.

Employees tell me that they were notified Saturday of their termination. I believe, including the construction crews, there are over 700 workers. Everyone is now left to scramble for new employment. A walk through the Inn affirmed the reality of the news: Every chair, table, lounger, umbrella, towel, desk, potted plant, vanished. The swimming pools are slowly draining. Chalk marks in the sand are drawn for the fencing that will encompass the ghost hotel. The kayaks will be removed probably tomorrow. The golf course is now closed and no further maintenance will be provided for the tennis center. It's pool will be drained also. Furniture and fixtures from all the offices will be removed this week.

I'm told that, through the HOA and property management funds, services to Founders Neighborhood will still function. Security, trash removal, pest control, and landscaping will continue. However, the existing management company must be desolved and reconstructed under another authority, namely homeowners. I can see where we will have to become more involved in our destiny. Right now, it is so early that no one knows exactly what will be necessary. I believe many still hold out hope that the project will be bought soon. Well, it's now or never.

There is also a feeling among some homeowners and employees that this termination of operations had to happen for real change to take place. The idea being we need to shake off the old system and begin anew. We do not feel any sense of dread. The future could mean that we homeowners will take more control over the direction of the project. It will contract into something quite different than the original developers envisioned. Smaller, tighter, more realistic; maybe similar to a country club or a gated community. We'll have to scale back to a position we can sustain as a neighborhood, not a commercial center or resort. God knows, we all wished for the dream of a blend of commercial with residential, but it's not going to happen, not for a long time.

Of course we need to see the unfortunate homeowners in Agua Viva get their homes finished. That's a enormous problem for which I don't have an answer. I'm not the only one. We all feel concern and empathy for them. We need to pave the Paseo, complete the exterior landscaping, and address our parking issues. The hotel is of least concern now, likewise, the desired beach club, but the golf course we must save. There is a strong possibility it will no longer be maintained. The word is that is will be managed until the end of the month. (The sprinklers were running tonight.) It requires tens of thousands of dollars every month to maintain the course. Could it go back to Fonatur? No one can predict. I'm already envisioning us homeowners having to provide that money through dues and memberships. As far as the tennis center, forget it, not enough interest to save it. The few of us who play weekly will have to find some way to sweep the courts and replace nets, etc. It will continue to look like the relic its always been.

I may be getting ahead of myself which is what one does when faced with the unknown. It's easy to say what we need, but how is another story. Right now we wait for more news and say goodbye to many familiar faces.


native2ba@yahoo.com said...

Kelli, Is the founders pool open, or is it draining as well?

kelli said...

No, I was told the community pool will stay in operation. It is funded with HOA money, I believe.