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 email@example.com
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).