Re: RFPs and developers
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 08:25:20 -0800 (PST)

On Nov 29, 2007, at 11:04 AM, Tom Hammer wrote:

We have 3 potential developers interested in partnering with us, and
we are considering the RFP model for choosing one.  Below are some
thoughts we  have.

I'm not experienced with RFPs but I personally would not comfortable trying to layout everything in advance in a document. Perhaps you have already done this step, but I would first make a list of topics and questions (like the one you included in the email) that you just discuss with the developer.

Once you talk with each developer you will have a good idea of which one you like and feel more comfortable with. Then you can begin writing a contract -- in consultation with a lawyer.

Building a real estate project is a long and complex process and things will change daily all down the road. Costs change. Some materials will not be available and you will have to switch. When you dig the foundations you will find boulders or something. Aside from any contractual issues, you will have to feel comfortable that your developer is advising you wisely.

- Compensation for Sweat Equity Hours.

Write this in formally to the contract as a budget item. Our developer did two wonderful things. First, he hired Ann Zabaldo as the marketing person. She initiated and planned all the outreach and helped the group form itself. She was paid out of the budget for project.

Second, and this is down the road for you, he included most of the furnishings for the commonhouse in the budget so we started right out with tables and chairs; pans, dishes, and cutlery; furniture in the living and kids rooms; and a budget for tools in the workshop.

Thus marketing and furnishings were paid for in our mortgages and not scraped together from our condo fees over the next year -- or probably over 5 years.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing,Washington DC

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