converting existing bldgs
From: Judy (BAXTER%EPIHUBVX.CIS.UMN.EDU)
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 1994 16:47:10 -0500 (CDT)
I'm with Dave, who wrote on Feb 22, not wanting to be in the suburbs and 
wondering about converting existing buildings/apt buildings.  Tho Technically,
we at Monterey CoHousing are in fact in a suburb. 
        Monterey coH is 6 blocks outside the Minneapolis boundary, in a 1st
ring suburb - area = combination of apt houses, town houses, and single family
houses - quite dense in spots.  I drive many places, but also take the bus,
(several are possible) and can walk to a small shopping center (1 mile),
several convenience stores, a florist, card shop, city hall, Jewish books and
supplies store,  and a few other oddments. It doesn't feel suburban to me.  So
I think it is important to look at sites, and not just the name of the
city/suburb.   

I live in 1 of 8 units in a (not completely) rehabbed former retirement home -
and we are building (fall, we hope) 14 or so town houses and , probably, a few
apartments  (still in flux).  What is interesting in our situation is that on
the 3 floors with apartments, the situations vary a lot!  ... On the first
floor, 2 units + common living room, library, copier, and mail area.  Those
folks get lots of traffic by their doors, and "co-chats".  2nd floor is 4 units
on a pretty wide hallway, and because of some problems with soundproofing,
which we are working on, (slowly, alas) one family finds they get much too much
interaction.  So people try not to chat in the hall.  And on the 3rd floor, 2
units, and plaster rather than hollow clay tile/brick walls, we get no
interaction unless we go look for it.  I take that back, access to the roof and
attic is through the 3rd floor units, so we do get some . and the two 3rd floor
units share the elevator, but access is through one to the other. I think it
works quite well, but there is still work to do in lots of areas.  We had to
combine rooms into units -- it was not apartments to begin with.

But, it can be done.  AND, none of us knows what it will be like to live more
normal lives, when we don't have, one way or another, 2-3 meetings/week.  Right
now, what we need is more alone time.

JUdy

Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community, Twin Cities Area, Mpls/St.Paul MN
        (Mococo)                baxter [at] epivax.epi.umn.edu
2925 Monterey Ave So,  St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Twin Cities CoHousing Network Voice Mail  612-930-7580
 Voice Mail for Monterey Cohousing - 612-930-7554

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