Sunday, February 7, 2010

Paseo Additions = Progress

Earlier this winter I wrote about the opening of Evan and Julie’s Convenience Store, called Baja On Site, located on the Paseo in the space that was originally the Farmacia. At that time this was the first new commercial enterprise to have opened in the Loreto Bay Development in some time, and the only one catering to the day to day needs of the residents here. Since then, their store has become a real fixture on the main street of the community – from first thing in the morning, when hot coffee and fresh doughnuts are available, throughout the day as there is a more or less steady stream of people in and out of the store, picking up snacks and staples, a cold drink, loaf of bread, a missing ingredient, or just stopping by to say “Hola”. During the day there are often people sitting at tables and chairs out front using their computers at the WiFi hotspot Evan has set up in the store, and as the afternoon passes it’s not uncommon to see a group of neighbours standing around in front of the store visiting, while they enjoy a cold beer or soda – the store has even become our substitute for a local Pub.

This week marked the occupation of two more commercial spaces on the Paseo. The Loreto Bay Community Center opened across the street from Evan and Julie’s store in #306, on the ground floor of an “Alta” model. Camille Kelly, one of the longest term residents here in Loreto Bay, deserves much of the credit for getting this space opened for the benefit of all Home Owners. Within our Master Condominium Regime budget, there were funds available for the rental of the space and the utilities and for the hiring of a staff person to operate the space. But it took Camille’s vision and determination to move through the red tape and formalities and get the place up and running for the benefit of all the Home Owners here in Loreto Bay.

Camille also started raising funds and soliciting donations of furniture and fixtures that will make the space useful and provide new and exciting opportunities for activities that will add greatly to the living experience for everyone here. One of the first uses of this space is for the series of Home Owners Association sub-regime annual meetings that started this week and will take place several times a week for the rest of the month. Now that the space is in operation, a Community Center Volunteer Committee has been formed with over a dozen members and planning is underway for the further development of the facility and organizing more activities that will take place there in the future.

Members of this committee are present at each of the sub-regime meetings, giving them access to the many Home Owners who are here to attend, and they will be spreading the word about the Center and what the space will be available for. They will also be continuing to solicit more donations and support so that the space can be equipped with the necessary materials and supplies for full operations. I encourage any interested Home Owner to contact Camille to offer your support of cash or “in kind” donations of the many things that are required. In Mexico you can reach her cell at 044-613-118-3918 and her email is: .

In addition to the sub-regime meetings, one of the first “fun” activities to be launched in the Center are “Zumba” classes three times a week. Not personally being involved in the classes, I gather Zumba is a sort of “Jazzercize” aerobic workout that involves music and a high energy workout that has proved to be popular, with over a dozen people showing up for the first session. Other activities and services that are planned for the Center include; a lending library of books, videos, CDs, games, toys and puzzles, lectures, Spanish classes, along with arts and crafts, and children’s activities, with opportunities for other special events and social activities. In that vein, the Committee has planned a series of Open Houses each Sunday this month, starting this Sunday between 2 and 4 pm (in deference to the Superbowl telecast) and the following two Sundays, the 14th and 21st, from 4 till 6 pm. Everyone who will be in Loreto Bay this month is welcome, BYOB and some snacks will be provided – this will provide a great opportunity for us to meet and greet our neighbours and I am sure that new and exciting uses for the space will evolve from these get-togethers for the benefit of us all.

The other new enterprise that has opened on the Paseo this week is the permanent offices for Nellie Hutchison’s two businesses; Dorado Properties and Baja BOSS. Dorado Properties is the sole Real Estate broker for all the re-sale residential properties currently available here in Loreto Bay, and Baja BOSS is one of the main Property Management providers for the development. This new office, located just south of the “T” intersection on the south entrance to Loreto Bay, is the second one Nellie has opened this winter. I wrote previously about the in-town office of Dorado that opened in November on the central plaza, to serve the Real Estate market in and around the town, and now there is the office in Loreto Bay which will focus exclusively on listings in this development.

After months of operating in temporary accommodations and Open Houses, the opening of these beautifully decorated offices marks a major step in establishing Dorado and Baja BOSS as an important part of the future of the Loreto Bay development. There are two full-time staff assisting Nellie with the administration of these businesses. Veronica, previously from the back office of the INN at Loreto Bay, now manages the Property Management team that takes care of well over 100 Loreto Bay homes providing maintenance, repairs, and tax and utility payments among a myriad of other services. Rosario, who ran the Loreto Bay Realty offices prior to their closing, now assists Nellie with managing the growing Dorado Properties Real Estate operation (with over 50 resale listings in Loreto Bay) and provides myself and Ariel Klein, the Buyers Agents, with administrative support.

This past week was our first in the new offices and I am enjoying the experience of working out of a permanent office, after over a year of sitting Open Houses. Having all of the operations of these two businesses under one roof has already made a big difference in our day to day operations and I am also enjoying the simple pleasure of having other people around while I am at work during the day. One of the big changes that has resulted from working out of these offices is that I am now working full days, rather than my past routine of mornings only in the Open Houses. If the traffic that came through the office this week is any indication, having an official presence in a professional office situation will have a significant impact on our exposure and the potential business that will generate.

The offices are now staffed and operating from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (or later) 5 days a week and Saturday mornings. At most times during the day either I or Ariel will be available in the office to assist prospective buyers and home owners with their Real Estate interests, and I plan to continue to do Open Houses throughout the Founders Neighborhood with information about times and location available at the office. However, in addition to these business operations, I know that Nellie has designed the space as an important community contact center as well, and we look forward to, and welcome, Home Owners and Visitors alike dropping in for a visit, a cup of coffee, or just to find out what is (or isn’t ) going on in our growing community.

So that’s a big week in Loreto Bay, with the opening of two new spaces on the Paseo. One dedicated to building a sense of community and enriching our lives here with a venue for any and all special interests, and another, that will provide service and expertise, improving the experience of current Home Owners and opening the door to Prospective Buyers who want to share in the dreams we all have for the future of this wonderful place. It is through these developments and progress that the intangible community evolves and becomes stronger, adding life to the beautiful buildings that surround us, this is one of the most important parts of “Living Loreto”.