Re: using hotel/Coh for whom
From: hollandm (
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 93 17:26 CDT
Again with respect to the comment:

<It seems to me that an ideal structure in which to create an urban
<cohousing facility would be a residential hotel.

(Oh, and HELLO -- I have been reading for a month or so but haven't written
anything yet -- My name is Michael Hollander, a non-cohousing-resident of 
Seattle, WA.)

The APEX Belltown Co-operative in Downtown Seattle is kind of like this.
Born from the ashes of the 75-year-old APEX SRO (single-room-occupancy) hotel 
ten years ago, the APEX houses twenty people, mostly single.  I lived there
between 1989 and 1992.

The APEX is a great place.  There are two floors of co-op (street
level is owned by an eccentric furniture salesman).  Each floor has ten
units, four bathrooms, and two kitchens, and one large common room.  
Most people do some sort of work on their room (painting, loft-building,
etc.) to make it their own space.  The rooms are not huge, and some of
the cheaper rooms are very small.  

There was a good balance between private and public living spaces (though 
some people would have trouble with sharing bathroom space).  There were 
a great variety of people there: many professionals, artists, bus drivers, 
and a few students.  The environment was entirely devoid of cultism or 
imposed ideology.  Most residents were very committed to the place.  I 
don't have statistics, but the average resident seems to stay 3 or 4 years, 
and many stay longer.  People made a lot from their spaces.

It would, however, be hard to raise a kid there, mostly because there isn't
much space, and because it's downtown.  I left not because I had a kid
but because living downtown didn't suit me.

One feature of the APEX that differs from what cohousing ideas I've heard
here is that the APEX is a limited equity co-op.  Like a co-op the building
(or more specificially, the co-op's interest in the building) is owned by
an "entity", and each member owns one share.  The share's value, which began
as 1/20 of the downpayment on the building (would you believe, $1000?), is
tied to the consumer price index.  A member's carrying charge contribution
(rent) does not contribute to his/her equity in the building.  This keeps
the share price low (it was $1500 in 1993), and allows many low-income people 
to live there.  It also makes it easier to move out.  

michael h

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