Re: RFPs and developers
From: Craig Ragland (
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 17:05:59 -0800 (PST)
Hi All,

There is a major difference between a partner and a contractor.

IMHO, I would only want to work with a Developer that is a partner and I
don't find the idea of trying to begin a partnership by mailing out RFPs
attractive at all. I would network and talk with real people about real
experience in the real world to find a real developer who is attractive to
working with our cohousing group - to become our business partner in a new

This is how New Earth Song identified Greenworks Development as a potential
cohousing development partner. Will it work out? Don't know - so far so
good, but ask me in a year or two.... or you can ping me right now (
craig [at] if you are browsing the Coho-L archives from the vantage
of 2009 or beyond.

I expect that my developer partner would seriously consider using an RFP
process as one approach toward identifying and working with various
contractors, including builders, engineers, planners, infrastructure folks,
and possibly even architects (but that's another conversation).

Developers do deals to cause real estate projects to happen. Other
professionals are the ones that do the "real work" (that's a joke, for good
deal-making is very real work).

Personally, I would not consider entering into a contract-driven
relationship with a Cohousing Developer... I would insist on a strong
contract, but approaching it form a contractual perspective would seem to
set it up for an adversarial relationship, which I would probably loose if
push came to shove because professional developers are better at deal making
than I am.

By trying to develop a real, authentic relationship, I believe we could more
creatively develop a true win-win partnership (supported by a written

In my vision, the wide-spread growth of cohousing depends on more quality
partnerships between effective forming cohousing groups and professional
developers. We need to nurture more professional cohousing developers and we
need them to help us be more successful at creating our communities.


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