WHILE Costa Rica has long been atop retirement haven for North Americansand Europeans, newly developing opportunitiesmay attract a very different crowd.Just ask Marilyn Henderson. She is thefounder and moving force behind the PuraVida Continuing Care Community beingdeveloped in San Rafael, Heredia – a townnorth of San José.“There are a lot of Americans who liketo retire here,” sheaffirmed. “However, ourfacility will be the first ofits kind.”Henderson describesthe development as different,in that it is “like aresort.”“People will comeinto the center for life,”she said, explaining thatresidents will start out intwo-bedroom, two-bath villas and moveinto an assisted living facility when thetime comes that they can no longer live bythemselves. “We will also have a healthcarefacility which provides nursing servicesif people need that.”HENDERSON said that those whoend up in the nursing service facility couldmove back to their villa if their conditionimproves enough that they could live bythemselves.In addition to luxurious living accommodations,the retirement community willalso provide a community center, diningroom, clubhouse, exercise room, gym,sauna and Jacuzzi and a variety of servicesincluding transportation to shopping mallsand doctor’s offices.Henderson said that there are a numberof retirement facilities located in CostaRica, many operated by the government orcharitable organizations, but none are onthe scale of her development.“I’m sure that the concept will becopied in other Central American countries,”she said. “I have heard that theremay be one or two similar places inMexico. In the United States, it’s a growingindustry in the billionsof dollars.”GROUND wasrecently broken on fiveof a planned 60 housingunits. Henderson alreadyhas a waiting list of peoplewho are interested inthe facility.Potential clients canvisit the facility to see amodel apartment.Henderson estimates that the first units willbe available in approximately six months.Construction is also under way on the facility’sinfrastructure.Residents will pay an initial fee of$150,000, plus will be charged $1,650 permonth. Additional persons living in thesame unit will pay $500 per month.CURRENTLY, those who have paidthe $1,000 refundable deposit are all livingin the United States.“Some of them own a house here andothers have heard about Costa Rica anddecided they want to live here,” Hendersonexplained.“Those who haven’t visited here yetpaid a deposit subject to viewing,”Henderson said, explaining that if a potentialresident arrives in Costa Rica anddecides not to stay, their deposit will berefunded.HENDERSON indicated that she isinterested in providing a quality resortstylefacility for retirees.“We are a family business,” saidHenderson, who is the owner of the CaricoReal Estate Company.For more info, Henderson can bereached at 233-8057.