Re: The Developer Role/Early Start
From: John Major (
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 1997 11:07:44 -0500
Hi, Rowena -

Thanks for the replies! Is Cambridge Coho the one going in hear Davis
Sq.? I used to live in Arlington, near Mass. Ave., but before that we
lived in Somerville real close to Davis Sq. - at least, I have vivid
mental images of these places, but I don't know that I have the names
right! Stops on the Red Line...

By "Heavy Lifters" I really meant the folks making the development side
of it happen - there are certainly folks here working hard on process
issues, recruitment, legal, etc., but the development stuff is demanding
in a particular way, it seems - requiring specialized skills and
round-the-clock access, not a good mix for a volunteer,
doing-it-on-the-side organization. In your case, paying your
professional member-developers seems to have been a good compromise for
you - getting a Coho-saavy developer at a good price!

> The bank's lawyer wanted to rewrite everything every week. However, he 
> was obviously on the side of the 800 pound gorilla so we just kept doing 
> things over and over FOR 8 WEEKS!  
> Luckily, our wonderful general contractor and the contractor who is 
> building the modular units kept on building and trucking - we have 
> foundations almost all complete, and about twelve units on site being 
> buttoned up. 

So you're implying that you did what we've been calling an "early start"
- breaking ground *before* you had the official financing nailed down.
Was this based on just a "letter of approval" from your bank, or was
there something more official? Our builders are comfortable with
starting before the financing is quite done, and we have got our
front-running bank and our title company willing to do this, we think -
they will do what's called a "courtesy lien" to keep the bank in first
position on the loan just before the shovels go in. We have the heavy
Utah winter to fear, so we are anxious to get going (besides the fact
that some members are frantic to get started....   ;-)   But some here
are pretty leery of this "jumping the gun", and I'm wondering if your
experience has been OK with it - 8 weeks is quite a long time to be
building with no official $$, isn't it? How did the checks get paid?

Thanks -
John Major
Wasatch Cohousing - looking down the chutes at the Development

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