Re: Retrofit Cohousing Panel for National Conference in NC (Jane Calbreath)
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2014 07:14:27 -0800 (PST)
Hello all

I’m getting a little confused about how this definition of “retrofit” is being 
used in this thread.  

As long as I’ve been on this list — which goes back to the Dark Ages — 
“retrofit” is a term that describes the N Street Cohousing model of buying up 
homes or occupying apts. and then eliminating the barriers to a contiguous 
landscape between and among the units. Sometimes they aren’t exactly contiguous 
but close enough.   This may be a slower process but the end result is a less 
expensive model of creating a cohousing community.  It’s actually a model I’m 
recommending more and more in the DC region because raw land or even vacant 
buildings are so out of sight in cost.

Taking old buildings and rehabbing them is an altogether different story.  
Eastern Village was a gut rehab. (Their 10 year anniversary is tonight!!)  It 
was done all at one time.  Ditto Swan’s Market.  

A while ago there was a thread on this list about coming up w/ another name for 
“retrofit” cohousing when it has the meaning I detailed above.  So maybe we can 
look at this again.

When I talk about this process of buying up homes, lots, etc. one or two  or 
three at time and converting the units to cohousing I refer to it as “the N 
Street Model” ‘cause their the guys that perfected it and popularized it.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church VA

On Nov 8, 2014, at 9:34 AM, RJ Hirsch <heidinys [at]> wrote:

> Hi,
> As I recall, Swann's Market,   which we have visited while in Oakland,  
> California,  is, as I recall retrofit.
> Also,  as I recall, Monterey CoHo, in the Twin cities.  
> best,
> Ruth Hirsch
> Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2014 15:30:35 -0800
> From: Jane Calbreath <jane.calbreath [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_ Retrofit Cohousing Panel for National Conference in NC
> Dear Cohousers:
> I am a Coho US board representative serving on the conference committee for
> next year?s CohoUS National Conference taking place in Durham, North
> Carolina in May 2015. We have scheduled a panel session on ?Retrofited
> Cohousing? 

> Thank you in advance,
> Jane Calbreath
> California Rep
> Board Member
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