Journey to Ahhh….Part 2
The Benefits of Collaboration with a Developer with Cohousing Experience and Expertise
In this article, we would like to talk about the benefits of working in close collaboration with a development group that has extensive experience with cohousing. For the development of Our Home – Cathedral Park, we chose Urban Development + Partners, a local Portland, Oregon firm. The committed hearts and minds of everyone we have worked with at UD+P have provided an incredible boost when obstacles have gotten thorny. Because they have worked with other cohousing groups, they understood what we are aiming to do immediately and intuitively, and their broad view of cohousing helped us identify where we can follow the traditional cohousing template, and where we have to tweak things a bit to make our unique vision become a reality. When it came to tweaking, their experience, professional network, and creativity have helped ensure we are creating a process that is efficient and accessible.
We regularly lean into their knowledge around real estate, development, legal, and marketing questions, and their introductions to their extensive professional network of architects, builders, and materials providers has saved us time, energy, and frustration. Their familiarity with cohousing has helped educate industry participants about the concept of cohousing, smoothing the path for us. In addition, their introductions to other coho communities have been indispensable. Being able to talk to others who have walked this path before us has been a great help. Several of UD+P’s regional projects are just a few steps ahead of us in development, so it’s like having a sneak peek at our future. Knowing that they have led so many projects from conception to completion gives us a sense of security as we step into each phase of building our community and our home.
UD+P is also a great help on the financial side. By partnering with them—and by extension, funders who are familiar with cohousing—we are able to access construction loans at more competitive rates and advantageous loan-to-value lending ratios than we would have been able to access on our own. Additionally, if we were going it alone, a greater portion of the equity stake would have fallen on the shoulders of our future members. UD+P will also provide us with a construction loan guarantee once equity benchmarks have been achieved from three quarters of our community’s residents. Easing these burdens on our members will help us make our project more accessible, will reduce the risk to our community, and will speed things up for our development process.
Our Home – Cathedral Park wouldn’t be where we are today without the experience of the folks at UD+P. It was at times scary to entrust our vision to other people, but UD+P has made that trust so much easier! In our next blog post, we will hear from the architecture firm working with us to build community and inclusion through the architectural design of our private and common spaces..
Category: Getting it Built
Tags: cohousing, Developer, development