Iowa City Cohousing is welcoming new members for its Prairie Hill development of 36 modest green homes on an 8-acre infill site near the University of Iowa and downtown Iowa City. More than half the homes are occupied or spoken for already. We have one home available now for purchase and completion. Two more homes will be completed late in 2019 or early 2020, and several more buildings are planned for 2020.
~One 1290 square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath two-story duplex on the hill above the Common House is ready for new owners to choose interior materials and finishes and move into in the fall of 2019.
~Two 670 square-foot, one-bedroom flats will be available in a two-story fourplex. The flat on the upper level has cathedral ceilings and a Juliet balcony. The lower flat has a private entrance as well as a common entrance from the front porch that spans the building. New members will be able to choose materials, finishes and fixtures.
All Prairie Hill homes are built to standards for Energy-Star and LEED certification. They are super-insulated and all-electric, requiring little energy for heating and cooling. Owners may choose options to make them even more energy efficient.
Prairie Hill is an eco-community planned according to permaculture principles. Half of our 8-acre site has been preserved for prairie plantings and for gardens and orchards where we can harvest produce for use in our personal and community kitchens. Homes are clustered around the Common House and surrounded by individual kitchen gardens. Most homes have been sited to accommodate optional solar collectors on their roofs. Iowa City Cohousing has been awarded grants and low-cost loans to support the sustainable stormwater management features on our site.
Homes range from 515 square-foot studio apartments in the Common House to 1600 square- foot, two-story duplexes with two baths and up to four bedrooms. Other home sizes available are 645, 800, 950, and 1290 square feet. Buildings are arranged in clusters of duplexes of one or two stories, two-story fourplexes and single-level townhouses. The studio apartments and townhouses have been sold. All homes will be owner-occupied.
Current members range in age from 18 to 82, and we are committed to being a diverse, multigenerational community. Among us are an accountant, a mediator, a landscape designer, a massage therapist, an engineer, social workers, pharmacists, a piano tuner, professors, teachers, writers and editors, and affordable-home specialists. Our site is especially suited for children to explore and play outdoors and adjacent to a small city park. We welcome singles and traditional and non-traditional families. We have secured grants and tax credits to help make some of our homes more affordable for income-qualified members.
The first members moved into their homes in March 2018. We celebrated our first Thanksgiving in our Common House dining room in 2018 and have been sharing Tasty Tuesday community meals and a couple of potluck dinners each month. Spontaneous game or movie nights have developed almost weekly, and we host open houses to show off our community and available homes twice a month. Pets are welcome, and shared pet-sitting has become routine when owners have been away.
Prairie Hill is within walking and biking distance of many restaurants and other eateries, a grocery store, a fitness center, and most of the other types of business and service providers folks use in everyday life. The business and cultural center of Iowa City is just over a mile away. Two city bus routes have stops within a block or so of Prairie Hill. Excellent public elementary and secondary schools are nearby.
Iowa City is a cosmopolitan small city often highly rated in national assessments of best places to live. It is home to the University of Iowa with its Big 10 sports and large teaching hospital within easy walking distance of Prairie Hill. There are a VA hospital and a community hospital here, too.
Featuring the university’s renowned Writers’ Workshop and International Writing Program, independent bookstores, and a vast community of writers, Iowa City was the first American city designated a UNESCO City of Literature. A magnificent new performing arts center and new homes for the university studio arts programs and the School of Music opened in 2016. Ground has been broken for a new university art museum. These state-of-the-art facilities replace buildings destroyed in a major flood in 2008. Prairie Hill is near the Iowa River and a large new riverfront park, but it is not in the flood plain.
Building and site plans and more information about Prairie Hill are on our website at iowacitycohousing.org. We have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Iowacitycohousing/. Contact us for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org.