Help us find land (or the right developer)
We’re looking for the right land or developer to build Calgary’s next cohousing community of 25-35 homes. Can you help us crowd source? Do you know a developer, home builder, land assembly person, or someone that owns a bunch of city lots in a row? Any leads appreciated!! Calgary is tough if you're not a developer, as a lot of land never hits the market. Please share this page! We can be reached at email@example.com.
Cohousing is a collaborative neighbourhood with a village mindset. It combines private home ownership with access to extensive shared facilities in a sustainable and people-oriented design. Neighbours maintain independent incomes and lifestyles, while participating in a ‘sharing economy’ that enriches their lives.
We are seeking a developer to work with a strong buyer’s group of 12+ home owners on a 25-35 unit multifamily project. We have equity that we can inject into the project in the early stages, prior to construction financing, to show that we have ‘skin in the game’ for the project’s success. We have hired a consultant with extensive experience in such partnerships, with a framework that has led to successful projects across North America. We are also willing to purchase land that meets our criteria. See more details below!
LAND SEARCH CRITERIA
NEIGHBOURHOOD - We’re all NW/SW home owners, so have a preference for NW Calgary, as well as SW Calgary and interior SE Calgary
LAND SIZE - Ideally minimum of approximately 30,500 sf or 0.7 acres. We’d be open to a conversation on a smaller site, however green space is a must, so building straight up in a condo tower isn’t ideal. If we could have townhouses on the main level, with a courtyard and rooftop green space, that might work. *0.7 acres is 5-7 city lots in a row, depending on the size of the lot*
NICE TO HAVE - Schools, Transit, Amenities, Walkability/Bikeable, Proximity to green space
NOT IDEAL - Floodplain, Airport protection vicinity area, Location past Stony Trail, Near freight rail
IDEAL PROJECT OVERVIEW
25 - 35 homes clustered around central green space with gardens and play area.
Fewer homes would be considered for a smaller site. We’re open to schematics, but common green space is a must.
BUILD - We’re flexible. Likely townhouses or stacked towns, combined with single-level aging in place units. (Not condo tower for all units unless townhouses on main level and a courtyard possible.)
Per cohousing guidelines - 3,500-4,000 sf 'common house' amenity. Parking is underground or at edge of property, rather than having a garage at each individual home.
UNIT SIZES - Avg 1,000 sf, Max 1,300 sf. An example unit mix for 30 homes might be: 3 x 1 bed, 12 x 2 bed, 13 x 3 bed, 2 x 4 bed
PRICING - Ideal max home price $300,000 for smaller homes & $500,000 for larger homes
LEGAL STRUCTURE - Condominium
Cohousing originated in Denmark in the 1960’s, and was introduced to North America in 1988 by two architects. (One of them being our consultant, Kathryn McCamant from CoHousing Solutions.) Since then close to 200 cohousing communities have been built in North America, and close to 200 are forming or in development at this time. A framework exists to make cohousing a profitable, repeatable business model for developers.
In cohousing, neighbours maintain independent incomes and lifestyles, while participating in a ‘sharing economy’ that enriches their lives. Each home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. The community has a common house, which may include a larger kitchen and dining area, and recreational spaces used for children’s play areas, yoga, music, woodworking etc…, as well as guest rooms. This amenity is used on a daily basis by many in the community, allowing homeowners to build a smaller home for themselves. Shared outdoor space includes gardens, open space and parking.
Future residents are involved in the design of their community via several participatory design workshops prior to construction (and then step back and let the experts do their work). Residents are able to effectively market the community to other buyers, removing this burden from the developer. The vast majority of cohousing projects easily meet the hurdle for pre-sales preceding construction financing, and sell-out prior to completion of construction.