MALDEN, MA (July 13, 2017)—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.
(January, 2017) Bay State Commons engaged in a design workshop to determine the sizes in square feet of the living units – studios, 1 -, 2 -, and 3 – bedrooms, with the guidance of our architects Neshamkin French Architects, and French 2D.
Our second workshop tackled the common spaces indoors and outdoors. High priorities for the outdoors are spaces gardens and play areas for children with as much open space as possible on a site of less than an acre. This means that at least part of the building will be 3 or 4 stories high, perhaps staggered to the back to two stories.
As part of the indoor common space design we want a kitchen and a dining area that can be used for large meetings, for
performance space and optional group meals. We also want a young children’s play room, homework and hangout spaces for older children, space for meetings formal and informal, for music, for arts and crafts, a café, an adults only pub, and workshops for fixing things, wood-working, clay (messy), and electronics. We are really excited to play a part in building our future home. More to come!
My vision that I have is arriving home at the end of the day and you’re in your usual burnt out state,” said Goldstein, who is planning the future Bay State Commons shared dining room. “You’ve done your work, you’ve done your commute and [have] all these little things that are bugging you – and [then] sort of opening the door into the common room and just sort of having that Cheers Bar moment.