Re: architects and developers
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2003 08:05:09 -0700 (MST)

On Nov 22, 2003, at 9:22 AM, Diane Simpson wrote:

Underground parking is very, very expensive--$10,000-$20,000 per parking space. You're only building 18 units so you don't have very many units to spread the costs over. Plus, you're building all small units with no large units to help offset the costs of those small units. That means you're going to have a bunch of very small, very expensive units. And you're going to make five of the units permanently affordable? Is the land trust going to buy them?

This is why you need a developer-type person. Whether they are a consultant, a lawyer, an architect, or whatever, you need a person who knows stuff like this off the top of their head so you know what you are up against in dollars and cents. It doesn't mean you can't do what you want to do if you can find creative ways to do it, but you need to know before you put a lot of energy into something what it will take to get it done.

As Diane said, success means follow through. How much follow through do you have? What is your timeline? Can your group wait 10 years to get built?

One of the groups in Florida lost families to the problem of needing to get moved in and children settled in schools before the project could be started, much less completed. If your value is that children will not be changing schools once they are "in", the window for making commitments to cohousing becomes very short.

You need experts to shorten your "follow through" requirements as well as you financial risks.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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