Bay State Commons Cohousing is forging ahead on schedule, and is looking for new members to join as we move towards construction. We have finished the design sessions with our architects, who will now be converting our conceptual design to building plans which can be submitted to the city for approval.
Before the design is finished we have 15 “small” design issues to resolve at our meetings. Do we want a fireplace and if so, a wood or gas fireplace? How do we handle trash and recycling? Do we want a metal roof? Would a ground source heat pump work for us? Etc.
Near the end of 2017, we will formally apply for project permitting from the City of Malden. Between now and then, we have time to work out some final design details and focus on marketing. Of our community’s envisioned 30 units, we have now sold 14, and 5 households have expressed an intent to become an ‘Equity Member’ and commit to purchase a unit.
By the end of January 2018, we will execute our option to buy 368 Pleasant Street and become its owners. By early to mid-2018, we hope to complete permitting and construction financing. At that time, we would break ground and begin construction on our new homes. If all goes according to plan, the new community’s doors will open in mid-2019.
If you are interested in learning more about this exciting project, send us an email, or come to one of our every-other week planning meetings or upcoming social events to learn more and get involved! www.baystatecommons.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to be in contact!
Peter Goldstein, the founder of Boston’s newest cohousing initiative, Bay State Commons, is grateful for the wider community. “Every single time that you speak to people who have been involved in cohousing, they will give you their hard-won pieces of wisdom about what to do and not to do,” Goldstein said.
For Goldstein, and others like him, intentional communities can be the antidote to a prevailing model of society that they find constraining or unfulfilling — a model that presents marriage, a house, 2.5 kids and a prosperous career as hallmarks of a fruitful adulthood. “When I look back on parts of my life when I have felt fulfilled, or where I’ve produced the most positive memories, they have always been times when I’m involved in some kind of tight-knit community,” Goldstein said.
“Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhoods. Cohousing residents are consciously committed to living as a community. The physical design encourages both social contact and individual space. Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes, but residents also have access to extensive common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground, and a common house with a large kitchen and dining room/meeting room and other facilities.”
These characteristics serve to distinguish cohousing from other types of collaborative housing:
- Participatory process
- Neighborhood design
- Common facilities
- Resident management
- Non-hierarchical governance structure and decision-making
- No shared community economy
There are more than 100 cohousing communities in the United States with many others around the world. The best source of information is the website of the Cohousing Association of the United States (CohoUS).
July 2017 Newsletter
Malden Cohousing Group Meets with Future Neighbors
Moving one step closer to bringing cohousing to Malden, the future residents of Bay State Commons recently held a successful open meeting with abutters and other Maldonians to discuss the group’s proposed condominium development outside Malden Square.
Bay State Commons is a growing cohousing group currently comprised of sixteen households of local individuals, couples, and families planning to redevelop the American Legion property at 368 Pleasant Street, Malden. Diverse in backgrounds, ages, and interests, all members desire to live in a community based on shared values such as environmental sustainability, social bonds between neighbors, and mutual respect.
Cohousing balances community and privacy, creating a traditional neighborhood designed and developed by residents working with innovative architects. There are currently 165 cohousing communities nationally, 12 in Massachusetts. Drawn by shared ideals, a cohousing group typically forms well before purchasing a site and developing housing on it. Bay State Commons is no different. Formed in 2013 and organized as an LLC in 2014, BSC currently holds an option to purchase the American Legion site, with plans to build 26 to 30 owner-occupied condominiums—plus shared common facilities for weekly group meals, childcare, and other activities—designed by Boston-based French 2D and Neshamkin French Architects. The group will be submitting its development proposal to the City of Malden for approval once the city’s current building moratorium expires, and hopes to move into the new complex in 2019.
Attendees at the open meeting listened to a presentation on the group’s plans, viewed sketches and models of the planned building, and got to know their future neighbors. The meeting is part of Bay State Commons’ continued dialogue with Malden and local residents.