Sunday, January 27, 2013

Paseo Tour in Loreto Bay

After doing the last couple of posts on subjects outside of Loreto Bay I thought this would be a good time to shift the focus onto some of the progress and developments within our community, because there continues to be a lot of work going on here.  So this week I took a bike ride along the Paseo that passes through Loreto Bay and I am reporting on some things that caught my eye.

Probably the most dramatic changes that have occurred during the past year have been in Agua Viva, the second and final phase of Loreto Bay to be developed.  Four years ago, when the original Developer had ceased operations there were few completed homes in this phase but over the next year or two over 100 homes were completed privately by the owners.  However, the common areas around the completed homes were not finished and there were gravel paths and no landscaping.

More recently that changed with flagstone paths, and later, landscaping being added by our HOA where there were clusters of finished homes.  Under a special assessment voted on by all the Homeowners in Loreto Bay work has continued during the past year on sidewalks along the Paseo and more recently beautiful landscaping is being added along these sidewalks.  Another major addition to Agua Viva in the last year is another Community Pool located towards the north end of the Development giving nearby neighbors more convenient access than the original Pool in the south end of the Founders Neighborhood.

Moving from Agua Viva to the north end of Founders one of the first things to catch my eye was the much improved fa├žade of the “Hacienda” building with the tunnel leading from the Paseo into the first cluster of homes to be built in the Loreto Bay development.  This property, which has been standing unfinished for a number of years, was originally designed as mainly office and commercial space and is currently listed for sale.  Late last year the streetscape received a fresh coat of light grey paint with darker grey trim and much improved the appearance, now all we need is new ownership and investment to complete the building so it can assume it’s intended role in the community.

Next to the Hacienda building are two four storey buildings; Posada Norte and Sur which have their own history in the Loreto Bay Development.  These were designed as mixed use buildings with the main floors designated as commercial space and the upper three floors of each as residential apartment units.  Most of the apartments were sold a couple of years before the demise of the original Developer and the buildings stood partially complete for several years afterwards.  Homex purchased the main floors, along with several unsold apartments above as part of the liquidation of the assets of the original Developer, and last winter they finished most of the exteriors of both buildings which was a major improvement in their appearance.  This Fall they undertook some additional interior structural work on the Norte building, all of which encourages some optimism that we are getting near to a completion plan for both buildings, which has been under negotiation for the past year or more between Homex and the people who originally made deposits on most of the apartment units in the two buildings.

Across the Paseo from the Posada buildings one of the largest landscaping companies in Loreto Bay has set up an attractive and well organized garden Nursery to supply their own workers with the plant materials that are used in the common area landscaping, as well as work they do on interior gardens for Homeowners.  I purchased a number of plants there when I re-landscaped my interior courtyard just before Christmas and even picked up some poinsettias to enjoy inside my home over the Holidays.

More sidewalk landscaping is going on along the “commercial strip” of the Paseo in Founders where there are a number of retail and food services, some of which regular readers will recall my writing about in earlier posts.  I want to underline how much these improvements mean in the general beautification of our community.  Since the earliest days of Loreto Bay, the landscaping along the winding pathways has always been an important part of the ambiance as one walks through the clusters of completed homes, and over the years, as these plantings have grown and matured, the surroundings have become more and more beautiful.

But before this winter, and the progress of the two-year infrastructure program that we are halfway through, the beauty that could be found along the pathways and in Community Courtyards surrounding our homes off the Paseo was not seen by the casual observer driving through the Development.  But now, from the south access road around to the Inn, and through most of the length of the Community, the beautiful landscaping that has been so much a part of Loreto Bay is now being extended to it’s borders and making the streetscape a welcoming introduction to the garden-like surrounding found within.

Taken in total these changes have made the biggest improvement in the appearance of the development in the history of Loreto Bay, since most of the construction was completed in Founders neighborhood.  But, it is easy to take for granted the gradual incremental changes while they happen.  That is why it is important to occasionally stop and smell the bougainvillea, and appreciate the progress we have made so far, and, with a little imagination, see what this place will become.

Appreciating change when it happens, while keeping in mind the raw beauty of the natural surroundings and the amazing lifestyle that is being created here – that is the definition of “Living Loreto”!

P.S. I was sent the link below to the following article about kayaking in the Sea of Cortes including a number of references to Loreto that was published this weekend in the Calgary Herald newspaper - proof that I'm not the only one who thinks this place is special!