Re: RFPs and developers
From: Paul L. Della Maggiora (
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007 04:32:41 -0800 (PST)
While we are on the topic, Gabrielle and I are considering the use of a
professional developer and builder for our proposed Footpath community.  I'm
coming to the conclusion that we can maintain affordability by avoiding the
many and deep potholes being new developers brings. My goal is to get an
ecological cohousing community built in an affordable manner, not to start a
career in the development and building trades.

We are talking with the builder who built Eno Commons cohousing next door.
We felt he was professional, understood our needs, worked well with
adversity and new ideas, and ultimately created a terrific product.  And he
has a mutual interest in learning how to do this profitably and in a
repeatable fashion instead of doing the mcmansion neighborhoods of the past.

The sticky part is this: the land owner we are purchasing from insists that
we not sell the land to a third party, and he refuses to sell to
professional companies (after having been burned).  If we have someone do
the development and building in a traditional sense, we would essentially be
flipping the land.  

Additionally, Gabrielle and I insist on keeping creative control (within
reason) in order to assure that we build a neighborhood with the features,
asthetics, and cost that we believe meets what people are looking for. We
want collaborative control over the design and values used for the grounds,
commons house, other structures, and houses. By collaborative, I believe it
requires our knowledge of what other cohousing neighborhoods have done and
worked, and his knowledge of cost efficiencies and physical practicalities.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how we might be able to partner to meet
the above requirements?  I suspect we would need to form a separate legal
entity in which Gabrielle and I bring the land, sales, marketing, and
community organizing to the table; and he brings the money, development, and
building.  He takes the majority of risk, so he gets the majority of profit.
We place requirements on house design, house price, and use goals, and
together we determine if we can develop the affordable, outfitted
neighborhood at the costs he can provide. If so, great!  If not, then we
consider something different.

Any opinions are appreciated!  Thanks.

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