An Amazing Process to Build Community.

Several years ago in Nashville we started with four people who really wanted to see a cohousing community built.

Our small group grew to almost thirty or so with people coming along interested in a home with some of those who participated in the beginning just wanting to support ‘the cause’.

Our first workshop in the city included about 14 households. If we could’ve all moved in together we would have been a happy group but it was not to be. When we started looking for land there were several different groups with different preferences. Some wanted rural, others urban. Some wanted the west side of town, others the east.

When it looked like everyone had lost patience and there was only a few left looking, we defaulted to an expensive acre in a beautiful urban area. It turned out to be the hottest development area in Nashville.

But at that time some of our members didn’t want to be ‘that urban’. So, four of us put the land under contract and started once again building from there. We went from four members to nine right away where we fluctuated then between nine households and twelve.

We worked away trying to sell others on the idea of joining our community but no one had ever experienced the decision to purchase a home without knowing how it looked or the price. So those nine to twelve households went through the design workshops, investing in their homes and when we had drawings and prices we began to attract more members. At the time of construction financing we had 16 out of 25 homes committed and we worked with a nonprofit to help us over the hump with financing.

Today Germantown Commons has 23 out of 25 members committed. At the completition of construction spring of 2015 we expect to be fully sold out if not before then.

There will be only twenty five members but along the way there have been dozens more who contributed in amazing way to make the first cohousing community in the state happen.

Diana Sullivan, Germantown Commons, Nashville, Tennessee

Category: stories from the trenches


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