The Appropriate Developer - and How to Avoid Those that are Not (Charles Durrett and Dale Joel)

Presented by Charles Durrett and Dale Joel

Session Description

A cohousing group recently reached out to me with news that no one should have to go through. They hired a developer who, unfortunately, was unskilled in creating cohousing. This developer has now taken $500,000 dollars from the group and produced nothing tangible for them. A more deliberate process has proven successful – we’ve helped to create over 50 cohousing communities and have inspired many more – in part, because we took groups through the process. It’s not about recreating the wheel; it’s about creating a neighborhood where people know, care for, and listen to each other. During this presentation, Dale Joel (developer and future cohousing resident) and I will highlight examples of projects that have failed, dissecting the specifics elements (how the dollars were collected and spent) to understand what went wrong. We will then take you through successful models, describing why these communities work so well. Finally, this presentation will prepare you to be a savvy consumer, should your group choose to work with a developer.

About the Presenters

Charles Durrett, with his wife Kathryn McCamant, introduced the concept of cohousing to the U.S. with their book Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves. They coined the word “cohousing” for which they are credited in the Oxford English Dictionary. Charles recently authored, Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living-The Handbook . The latest edition is Creating Cohousing, Building Sustainable Communities. He has written several other books on cohousing, including Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living—The Handbook. Durrett and his team at The Cohousing Company/McCamant & Durrett Architects have designed more than 50 cohousing communities in the U.S. and around the world, including Muir Commons in Davis, Calif, the first cohousing community in North America. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Architecture, and many other publications. He lives with his wife, Katie, in Nevada City, California, where he primarily designs model communities and comfortable homes, including the 34-home cohousing community in which he lives.

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