Around Thanksgiving 2018, Becca and Fred visited relatives in New England but first we spent about 3 days at Jamaica Plain Cohousing (JPC) in Boston. www.jpcohousing.org/
View of courtyard from third floor walkway with commonhouse is the first image.
JPC is about a five minute walk from the Green Street Station on the Orange Line of the "T". Fred has had contact with several people at JPC over the years thru Cohousing-L discussions: lists.cohousing.org/archives/cohousing-l/ We had visited them briefly on two other trips. Spending a bit more time allows one to get a much better feel for a community. Our timing was fortunate in that we were able to observe a community meeting and the next night a common meal that was a birthday party for two children. If the party had been in the summer it probably would be on The Patio.
The Patio at JPC
We also had breakfast with at a nearby cafe with few members who were involved with starting the community. They shared some insights from their long process. They overcame significant pollution on the site which had been a rubber factory.
The Skyways JPC
They never gave up!
We met many people and explained cohousing to them.
It expresses the free play we want kids to experience in nature and with other adults and children.
We are Delighted!!!
The first thing the Instructor told us is that success in the Real Estate Business is based on creating a network of contacts, people you can call on to do what you yourself might not be able to do- whether legal work, planning, designing, financing, advertising, or construction.
Hey, this is true of Cohousing as well, we're going to succeed with a little help from our friends!
The course is aimed at getting more small developers involved in building the "Missing Middle" of the housing market. There are a lot of single family home builders, and a lot of mega developers who build the big Luxury Condo or Apartment Buildings, but the medium density is missing.
I really enjoyed learning more about the "Game" of development played with the Minneapolis rules.
I hope it will help us get cohousing built.
The class included 30 people, and we were pretty diverse, in age, sex, race, and what type of business the person was pursuing. The instructors expected that a lot of those in the class would buy existing 4-plexes, 8 plexes and manage them, or build new ones. We looked at Site selection, Acquisition, Due Diligence and Entitlements. ( entitlements means city permission)
We were assigned to find out as much as we could about a specific property - with all the websites of the Local Governments for Taxes, Special Assessments, Zoning, Local Area Plans.
Then we had to figure out if we could build an apartment building there, how big, how many units ( and still follow code). Then we learned about Financial Feasibility - to create a Pro Forma - a financial spreadsheet document that helps you find out if you can build the project, rent the space and not lose money.
So now Becca's head is spinning, I am so glad that Bassett Creek Cohousing is working with Katie McCamant and John Kalmon, our coaches for the game ahead.
If you want to take the course:
(He's 18 month old) entertained all night. He enjoyed climbing the stairs.
I hope in the end my living Unit will not have stairs inside.
116 people on bikes got to hear our description of Bassett Creek Cohousing. See Downtown in the background!
Members of Bassett Creek Cohousing will post here periodically. Thanks for checkin in!