Re: Affordable Cohousing
From: rpdowds (
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 16:07:37 -0800 (PST)
Actually, it's more complex than that. The key parties in the deal are always 
the client, the design team, and the contractor. 

Sometimes the client is a developer. The classic developer is not the ultimate 
end user of the finished construction; instead, s/he hopes to sell the product 
for a profit to a party not yet fully identified, a party mythically out there 
somewhere, according to the market survey. 

But mostly for cohousing, the client is / are the eventual owner / occupants 
driven by a vision of community, and a willingness to pledge assets to make it 
come true. I will call them the Founders, who typically venture forth as about 
1/3rd to 1/2 of the total eventual community occupancy, and pick up companions 
as they go. The Founders do NOT need a "developer". What they most need is a 
piece of land, a design team, and a contractor to build it. However, many 
professionals out there have evolved from contractors or developers to "Owner's 
Representatives". Unlike a developer, they have no assets of their own at risk, 
but they purport to understand the development landscape, and to have maps for 
getting through it. 

Who else populates this landscape? Well, now you've got your bankers, your 
planning board, your attorneys, your real estate agents, your EPA, and your 
immediate neighbors, to name just a few. "Owner's Reps" will often take the 
lead in bargaining with all these parties. In ye olden dayes, however, the 
trusted navigator was ... the Architect! More or less to their own blame and 
discredit, architects have wandered away from this role, and are now confined 
to drawing stuff. 

All of these parties want something -- usually a complex mix of results, 
reputation, product, honor and cash. It is the miracle of modern market 
capitalism that, when things go well, everybody gets (most of) what s/he wants. 


----- Original Message -----
From: "Don Benson" <benson6451 [at]> 
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]> 
Sent: Monday, December 31, 2012 3:41:41 PM 
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Affordable Cohousing 

Back to the point made by Oz, what do each of the parities to the process 
(architects, developers, potential owners) want and need. My experience is that 
each has a different set of needs/wants. I see these in the differences between 
developments driven by developers vs. those driven by a cohesive group of 

Some of these differences are obvious (vendors income, cash flow) and some are 
deep and not thought about and certainly not realized until after the event 
(think 17 year old with flaming hormones or many lottery big winners). How do 
"we" value the opportunity of community (to be developed not given. i.e. work) 
vs. the instant pleasure of a hot tub or sauna? 

Don Benson 

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.