Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Red Letter Day in Loreto Bay

As an indication of the significance of the paving project on the Paseo, or main road, that runs through our development of Loreto Bay, I return to the subject for the third time in as many months. This third (and I expect final) episode was prompted by an invitation last weekend from Homex to the Home Owners, to join in a ”Paseo Inauguration Ceremony” this past Friday.

A large group, consisting of most of the Home Owners who are currently in Loreto Bay, assembled in front of the INN at the south end of the Paseo where a PA system had been set up. Shortly after 4:00 pm Roberto Vez and Carolina Silva, both from Homex, made some opening comments welcoming the Residents and speaking about their company’s recent history in the Loreto Bay project and their plans for the future.

It was clear that for them, as well as for we Home Owners, the paving of the Paseo was both a tangible and symbolic example of their corporate good will toward the existing community and, they admitted that due to the complicated jurisdictional issues surrounding the road and it’s actual ownership, they had finally made the decision to proceed with the paving project on their own, without having received all the official approvals. A case of asking forgiveness rather than permission on a corporate level!

In an earlier posting I mentioned another example of Homex’s willingness to respect the interests of the existing community, when they initially had left a section of the road unpaved, due to the misunderstanding that this stretch was to be set aside for a landscaped area. However, when they realized that we Homeowners wanted the whole road paved, they tore up some of the concrete curbing they had already poured, and re-graded that section in preparation for additional asphalt paving.

After the brief remarks of introduction and welcome there was a symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony performed by one of the original Homeowner couples, Dottie and Mike, following which, about half the assembled crowd boarded a string of Golf Carts parked nearby, and the remainder walked or biked about ¾ of a mile from the INN down to just past the Golf Course Clubhouse, where we turned back on the opposite lane of the road and walked or rode back to the starting spot at the INN.

This in itself was a remarkable, albeit somewhat strange event, which could only be appreciated by those who were participating and had endured the dusty, pot-holed road that we have all lived with for the past five years. Picture about 150 people wandering down the center of a freshly paved road, led by a somewhat disorganized collection of Golf Carts, travelling at a slow walking pace, followed by the rest of the crowd, some of whom were on bikes. A parade with nobody watching, because everyone was in it!

As I took these pictures of the passing crowd and then walked through them to get to the front to take more pictures, I heard bits and pieces of conversations, many reminiscing about early experiences they had had in the adventure that we have all shared in acquiring our homes here. I was struck by the genuine celebratory mood of the group – everyone was happy and smiling and enjoying this big event in the recent history of our community.

When we had returned to the INN we signed off our names on the RSVP list in the Hotel lobby before passing into the central courtyard area where tables and chairs for over 200 had been set up with a PA system and several Buffet lines on the perimeter. After most people had a chance to visit the cash bar, Roberto and Carolina took microphones and welcomed us again as their Guests and talked further about Homex and their plans for the community.

Following this, they opened the Q & A part of the program and responded in a remarkably open and forthright manner to almost all of the questions they fielded. I very much respect their willingness to initiate this sort of give and take process with a largely unknown group of Foreign Homeowners who (they were well aware) have endured some serious challenges in the sometimes long process leading to the completion of their homes.

I also was pleased, and, dare I say, a bit proud, of the almost unanimously positive tone and attitude of those who raised questions, and the response of the crowd as a whole to the answers that were forthcoming. Without trying to present a complete report of what transpired, your Humble Blogger did make a few notes during the proceedings and I will offer the following observations:

- Homex continues to work behind the scenes with a number of Airlines to increase the air service to Loreto from various hubs in the US and Canada.

- They are committed to seeing Agua Viva I completed, and they plan to construct architecturally compatible homes on the bare land lots they have acquired there.

- They are now in possession of the two unfinished Posada buildings and are beginning the process of negotiating with the other stakeholders in those buildings to determine a course of action that will result in their completion.

- They are moving forward with the first phase of their own development with initial plans for over 200 homes beyond Agua Viva.

- They have purchased the proposed “Beach Club” parcel of land in Founders but have not made any plans as yet for how it may be developed, but they did advise us they did not see a Beach Club as being a viable option there for Homex, and that it would likely be some form of residential development at some time in the future.

- They have purchased the old Convention Centre shell in AV which will eventually be demolished and be developed residentially.

- Regarding the Golf Course, they stated that they intend to offer the same access, at the same cost, to Loreto Bay Owners as they will to their Homeowners in the future.

- They are conscious of the importance of the situation around the sewage lift station, and they are working with the several levels of government involved to come up with a solution for the future.

After answering all of the questions that were raised our Homex hosts invited us to start the Buffet lines and enjoy a Mexican themed meal of soup, salad, rice, beef and fish with deserts, all catered by the staff at the hotel.

Following the meal, as darkness fell the Homeowners drifted out of the Hotel courtyard where some Taxis were waiting to shuttle people down the Paseo, but most opted to wander back along their newly paved street in small groups, sharing flashlights and conversation as they retraced the path of our earlier “Parade” back to their own homes.

When 200 people come together to celebrate a couple of miles of paving, and make their own parade – with no one watching because everyone is in it – to be followed by a meeting with the Developer, who will move our community forward into a new and exciting phase, and have a positive exchange of information (something sorely lacking for the past several years) before finally sharing a delicious meal under the stars. That Parade marked a symbolically big day in the history of Loreto Bay, a day that many will remember who are lucky enough to be Living Loreto!

I would like to take this last opportunity to invite any Readers who are in or around Calgary on March 5/6 to attend the Mexico Living Expo being held at the BMO Centre on Stampede Park. I will be one of over 20 Exhibitors promoting the lifestyle options that are available for Foreigners here in Mexico and specifically, I will be presenting information on the homes now available in The Villages of Loreto Bay. I look forward to meeting you there and talking about the place I love to call home! Pre-register for free at: