Bristol Village Cohousing Update - Sept. 2015

Hi Cohousers:

It’s been quite a busy summer for our three active committees, and we wanted to keep everyone in the loop on progress on many fronts for Bristol Village Cohousing.

 Design & Construction Committee

Floor Plans - After many meetings and discussions, our architect team at VIA has modified and improved the design of the residences. Their challenge has been trying to bring costs down while achieving high performance energy efficiency. They have just delivered final designs to Stewart Construction for estimating of construction costs.

Current plan (We will post this on the new website!):

  • We’ve modified the flats in the triplex to make them two bedroom units, as many requested. We now have one 1-bedroom unit, seven 2-bedroom units and six 3-bedroom units in our 14 unit complex.
  • All of the units in the fourplex have one bathroom; all of the units in the triplex have 1 ¾ bathrooms.
  • The cottages will be 3-bedroom, 2-bath, two-story homes. We will offer two models – one larger with all bedrooms upstairs (for families), one smaller with a bedroom downstairs (for those thinking of a home office or aging in place).
  • The historic duplex at #8 North St. will divided into one 2-bedroom and one 3-bedroom townhouse. These will be the largest units.

Timeline – Since there are still a number of project unknowns, we have decided not to pursue a January 1 construction start date. We expect to break ground in April 2016, with first residents moving in sometime in late fall. If all 14 units sell quickly, we anticipate full occupancy by March 2017. Exciting!

 Marketing Committee

Mission and Values statements were drafted and approved. These were required in order to list our project in the directory of the National Cohousing Association website.  To put the spotlight on our unique and desirable location, we have adopted the name Bristol Village Cohousing. The Bristol Village Cohousing entry will be listed on the national website very soon.

Website - We are in the process of creating a new and improved website, thanks to the generous help from Eva Passalaqua. Eva is a web designer who has lived in cohousing for many years. We are planning to switch over to the new site in October. Stay tuned!

Social Media – Jim and Marc have been adding photos, site plan, floor plans and posts on ourFacebook page. Please “like” us, and “share” new posts whenever you can. This helps drive visitors to our website, which really helps the visibility and awareness of our project.

Finance & Legal Committee

Financial/Legal Documents - In addition to advising Peg and Jim on development issues and challenges, we have reviewed dozens of legal/financial policies and documents used by other cohousing communities. We sent key documents to our lawyer Liam Murphy to review. Once we have firmer construction costs and prices for the residences, we will finalize membership requirements and purchase/sale documents. This will help newcomers join our community, and allow interested members to reserve their preferred units.

Affordability – We’ve met with Addison County Community Trust and Bristol Village select board members to learn about possible affordable housing programs. We’ve learned that it’s a challenge with a small, privately funded residential project like ours. But we continue to look for ways to possibly offer down payment assistance to qualified buyers.

That’s it for now. We’re aiming to send you updates every few weeks as we continue to progress. Feel free to contact us with questions, and to let us know about folks you think might be interested in living in Bristol Village Cohousing. Please see our contact info below.