EFAM | Escape From America Magazine

The Sexiest Tree House Project in the World

The unfolding of one visionary developer’s ambitious dream

Rumors have been circulating in the real estate circles for months now that a new development showcasing one of the world’s only residential architectural parks featuring today’s top designers, unique residences built above the treetops on elevated stilts, and a floating beach club anchored in the waters of the Gulf of Nicoya is coming to the Central Valley and Central Pacific coast. Years in the making and now set to break ground, the two projects promise to literally raise the bar on residential lifestyle to new heights.

Standing atop his sprawling 50-acre property overlooking the pristine Lake Cachi and the lush mountains of the Orosi Valley, Dr. Ion Zaydelman, founder of Puerta a la Vida explains his unique vision with pioneering enthusiasm. “I wanted to create a place that goes far beyond the traditional notion of luxury. A place that would provide the perfect conditions for comfort and happiness, where people could enjoy a more fulfilling, intelligent way of living,” he says. “My idea is quite simple: focus on what people need and desire, find the small things that make them happy, and deliver the best without compromises.” Having been a highly-regarded scientist back in his native Russia before immigrating to New York and launching a lucrative development and business career, Dr. Zaydelman was all too familiar with the idea of compromises. “You reach a point in your life where you think, ‘Why does it have to be either/or?Why can’t life be lived to its fullest without having to give up that which matters most?” And so was born the concept of “Intelligent Living,” which means every detail of personal comfort, living efficiency, health maintenance, general wellness and eco-conscious construction are thoughtfully addressed. After traveling the world Dr. Zaydelman was convinced that Costa Rica, with its natural splendor, gorgeous climate and friendly people, was the ideal place to realize his Intelligent Living lifestyle. And he chose not one, but two sites (both just 45 minutes from San Jose)—one nestled among the rolling hills of the Orosi Valley and another 67 acres perched 300 meters above the Central Pacific coast near the picturesque seaside town of Miramar.

A synergy of several factors is at the core of the Puerta a la Vida beyond luxury philosophy: inspirational surroundings highlighting innovative design and art, smart services that maximize living efficiency, and a health conscious environment. “Even before it became the trend, we knew we wanted to build a sustainable development—one that was not only good for the Earth but good for its residents too,” explains Edward Zaydelman, the company’s chief operating officer. That means the developers will go far beyond the traditional notion of green to include more than just the latest in green technology. At Puerta a la Vida the ideals of healthy, green living will be upheld with organic landscaping so residents don’t breathe pesticides, pure drinking water, non-chlorine pools and homes built from non-toxic, non-harmful materials. “As a developer I look carefully at what type of imprint my development leaves. It makes me feel good that I’m building something my children will benefit from, the local community will benefit from, and last, but not least, Mother Nature will benefit from,” reflects Dr. Zaydelman.

Complementing the pure, clean environment will be services grounded in health and wellness allowing residents to obtain their optimum well-being with ease and comfort.  “It’s easy to be healthy when healthy choices are accessible to you—when they’re at arm’s reach,” says Edward. And with that in mind, the developments will have an onsite fitness center, wellness spa and naturopathic clinic with an array of preventive medical protocols lead by world renowned doctors. Strong believers in a holistic approach to wellness, the Zaydelmans are equally committed to quality nutrition because as they put it “what you eat” is “who you are.” They have already secured contracts with local organic farmers to supply organic, hormone-free produce to the onsite restaurants. “We are excited that we can support local agriculture and offer our residents the highest quality nutrition,” explains Edward. In fact, these developers are intent on giving back in more ways than one. Their social agenda will include not only support for organic farmers but also work with local educational and community institutions. “I was attracted to the project from day one, not only because of the scope of the vision but also because the company was serious about supporting the local community,” says Jorge Aria Mora, attorney and Puerta a la Vida’s president.

To interpret and bring their impressive dream to life, the developers trusted none other than Victor Cañas to be chief architect. “What attracted us immediately to Victor was his effortless way of marrying architecture and nature—he manages to orchestrate an exquisite harmony between modern sleekness and raw beauty,” says Dr. Zaydelman. “We are honored to be working with such a great talent.” Among the construction highlights will be an Architectural Row featuring unique residential designs from a select collective of leading architects. “At Puerta a la Vida architects and artists will have free reign to take their imagination to new heights—to be provocative and unlimited in their designs,” says Victor Cañas. “This project is a wonderful opportunity to promote Costa Rica’s native architectural talent.”

In the coming weeks, Puerta a la Vida is launching a limited release of Architectural Row home sites, which are sure to become the signature of the development.

High design is only one aspect of what the developers call “Living with Art.” Walking through the community will feel similar to exploring a museum of contemporary art with grounds that celebrate a variety of artistic talent and creative expression be it through architecture/design, avant-garde outdoor sculptures, creative landscaping or one-of-a-kind furniture in the common areas. But unlike a museum, where one is just a passive observer, here residents are invited to touch and experience their artful lifestyle 24-7. “Art makes the soul come alive—it’s like that dash of salt to seal in the flavor of an amazing dish. That’s how I see our collaboration with the artists and architects that we’ll be featuring—it is that dose of ‘wow’ that what will make us stand out from other developments,” explains Edward.

The distinct quality of Puerta a la Vida is that it’s not just another collection of houses in a gated community. “You get to live one life—so why not make it the best?” reflects Dr. Zaydelman. “We are conditioned to think that home is a roof and walls, when in fact, a home is a place for family, for shared memories, for the best times in your life.” To help residents achieve those ideals both properties will feature an array of services including evening entertainment—be it a jazz band or sultry vocalist; a kids’ playroom—so even the smallest residents can enjoy some fun; a residents’ lounge—where one can mingle with fellow neighbors over a game of billiards or enjoy an interesting lecture on low-fat cooking techniques; and an onsite business center complete with secretarial services and conference rooms. To deliver the highest living efficiency, the properties will offer exceptional concierge services so that residents don’t have to waste their treasured free time on the routine hassles of life. “I’ve found that it’s the small things that make a BIG difference,” explains Dr. Zaydelman. “So if we can ensure that a resident has their computer fixed, Fedex package delivered and the dry cleaning and groceries picked-up imagine how much free time we’ve just given them to enjoy on what matters most.” And with all this newly found free time residents can curate their leisure activities as they like. One enticing signature offering—the first of its kind in Costa Rica—will be a floating beach club-resort anchored in the Gulf of Nicoya that will serve as a launch pad for everything from jet skiing and water skiing to boating and beaching on the secluded white sand islands dotting the pristine waters.

“This is the culmination of years of dreaming, researching and planning,” says Dr. Zaydelman. “And we are excited to finally be able to share it.” Perhaps Costa Rican artist Jimenez Deredia summed it up best when he first met Dr. Zaydelman and learned of the developments: “Those who can see the invisible, can create the impossible,” he said.  Puerta a la Vida is the impossible realized.

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