Re: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 42, Issue 40
From: Camela Alexander (
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 12:22:43 -0700 (PDT)
if they don't reply to you, check in with Cascadia Co-housing in Portland.  I 
know they had the same type of experience you did.

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Today's Topics:

   1. Professional Development vs. Self-Development (Joani Blank)


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 18:39:49 -0700
From: Joani Blank 
Subject: [C-L]_ Professional Development vs. Self-Development
To: cohousing-l [at]
Message-ID: < [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed


I'm posting this for a forming group that is considering 
self-development of their community, hiring an experience 
construction project manager instead of working with a developer. 
They have a site optioned, and have started the permitting 
process.  Some people in the group feel that a developer will cost 
too much and will result in significantly higher unit prices.  Others 
feel that they really need an experienced developer to tie up 
construction financing, continue managing the permitting work, 
actively managing project costs, etc.

The "common wisdom" in our movement, has been (it seems to me) that 
every group that has tried to go it alone like this, has wished, in 
retrospect that they'd chosen to work with a developer instead. I've 
also heard that self-developed groups have found that whatever it 
cost the project to work with a developer, in almost all cases the 
developer saved the project more money than he, she or they cost.

When this group asked me for names of self-developed groups so they 
could confirm (or reject) this common wisdom, I was at a loss to name 
more than a couple such groups. It also occurred to me that it would 
be a good idea to generalize this question in a broader forum.

So let me pose the question broadly:  In your experience, what are 
the advantages and disadvantages of co-developing with an experienced 
developer (who would of, course, be hiring a construction or project 
manager), in contrast to self-development, where the group finds and 
hires the construction or project manager themselves.

Joani Blank
Swan's Market Cohousing
Oakland, CA


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End of Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 42, Issue 40

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