Category Archives: Cohousing

The Metropolitan Council approves a $2M grant to fund a landmark, transit-oriented development in the heart of St. Louis Park, Minnesota

St. Louis Park, MN, December 11, 2015 — /EPR REAL ESTATE NEWS/ — On December 9, 2015 and after overwhelming enthusiasm and support from a rigorous application and vetting process, the Metropolitan Council approved funding for PLACE’s St. Louis Park Community. The Council approved 2 million dollars in funding from its Livable Communities Account for a Transit-Oriented Development (LCA-TOD) grant after the proposed project demonstrated a breakthrough approach to meeting housing and economic development needs in the Twin Cities. The funds will be used to help secure site acquisition at the former McGarvey Coffee property, pioneer alternative energy sources, and integrate stormwater improvement with infrastructure like green roofs and an urban forest.

A nonprofit called PLACE (Projects Linking Art, Community, and Environment) heads up the community endeavor in concert with the City of St. Louis Park, fellow eco-minded and socially conscious companies like Allianz Life, Stantec, Shaw-Lundquist, Lindquist & Vennum, MSR, LIFT, and Rachel Contracting that have invested in the project, other private partners, and public collaborators like Hennepin County. The community will elevate affordable living, design, and artistic culture in the city and will be located near the expected Green Line extension (Southwest Light Rail) Wooddale Station. The development’s potential positive impact is staggering, with healthy homes for 300 households across the income spectrum supported by a mobility hub, urban agriculture, live and work spaces, a hotel, and a renewable energy generation system that consumes food waste created by its inhabitants and surrounding neighbors.

Chris Velasco, PLACE’s Executive Director, observed, “I think this project will be of national significance for communities that want to effectively leverage their scarce resources.”

Ryan Kelley, City of St. Louis Park Planner, says, “The City of St. Louis Park is extremely proud to be the co-recipient with PLACE of the Met Council’s largest transit oriented development grant for a new sustainable community of regional significance.”

“PLACE is an excellent project, for the city and the region. Turning vacant, unused property into a community space with alternative energy features, that is connected to other uses, like transit, is just the kind of investment the Council wants to make toward a livable communities and a prosperous region” – Erin Heelan, TOD Grants Coordinator, Metropolitan Council Livable Communities.

Executive Director Velasco thanks the Metropolitan Council for its confidence and support on behalf of the entire team and the residents of St. Louis Park.

MEDIA CONTACT

Peter Sieve (612) 326-0409 pete@welcometoplace.org
Elizabeth Bowling (612) 326-0399 elizabeth@welcometoplace.org

www.welcometoplace.org

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McCormack Baron Salazar Launches New Web, Social Media Sites

McCormack Baron Salazar is pleased to announce the completion of a new website and online social media presence to highlight its real estate and community development work across the United States.

“Our new online presence, which includes a new corporate website and a network of individual websites for our communities and residents, reflects the growth and needs of our business,” says Vincent Bennett, Chief Operating Officer of McCormack Baron Salazar, a St. Louis-based leader in mixed-income and affordable real estate development. “This effort reflects a broader strategy to highlight our unique approach to urban revitalization and connect more effectively with our business partners and resident families.”

McCormack Baron Salazar’s new online resources include:

• A new corporate website at www.mccormackbaron.com that highlights the company’s array of real estate and community development services, its diverse team of leaders and employees, its award-winning communities developed across the U.S., its holistic approach to urban revitalization, and the property management work of its affiliate, McCormack Baron Ragan Property Management Services.

• A network of websites to support the communities McCormack Baron Salazar has built in 35 cities, representing more than $2.6 billion in development investments. “These community websites will provide greater connectivity between our property managementteams and the families they serve,” Bennett says. “The websites are designed to provide resources for our residents and assist prospective residents in finding a new home in our communities.”

• An enhanced corporate presence in social media, such as a Facebook page and a YouTube channel. “We recognized it was time for us to actively participate in the social media spaces where growing numbers of our business partners and residents spend their time online,” Bennett says.

To develop its enhanced online presence, McCormack Baron Salazar turned to St. Louis-based v-Fluence Interactive to develop and execute its online corporate strategy and Dallas-based Ellipse, Inc., to assist with websites for individual McCormack Baron Salazar communities.

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Housing the New Majority: 78 Million Seniors

If you are looking for an idea with legs, take a closer look at this mashup: 78 million new senior/baby boomers “coming of age” in the next 20 years and planned cohousing communities of 50+ adults sharing independent lifestyles and solid financial health.

Architect and author Charles Durrett’s recently released book Senior Cohousing Handbook comes at a time of high interest in greening, sustainable housing and affordable living concerns. Durrett’s new book is a comprehensive guide for baby boomers wishing to continue vibrant, active lifestyles.

Senior cohousing is ready for the fast growing baby-boomer demographic — healthy, educated and proactive adults who want to live in a social and environmentally responsible community and maintain a quality lifestyle while stretching their dollars further into the future.

Durrett is the leading cohousing architect. His awards include the United Nations World Habitat Award and the Best of 50+ Housing Award. He coined the term cohousing, introduced the idea to the U.S. and is currently the U.S. leader in the field as an architect and consultant.

I caught up with Chuck Durrett between project meetings and book signings and quizzed him on the “hows and whys” of senior cohousing.

Q: What are some of the unique characteristics of senior cohousing communities?

A: One word: proactive. These communities are filled with individuals who are choosing to take control of their destinies through planning, not leaving things up to chance. For instance, accommodations are made for shared caregivers to live on site and long-term mobility and access issues are examined. Just the process of thinking things through as a group changes cohousing participants, preparing them with realistic views of their future.

Q: What are some senior cohousing benefits?

A: Emotional well being, saving money through shared services and community and maintaining independence for much longer than is commonly possible.

The biggest factor by far is living with kindred and having a number of close friendships. But it cannot be overlooked that cohousing costs significantly less than other senior facilities and gives the longest possible independent lifestyle—good for living a full life and conserving financial resources

Q: How does cohousing reduce an individual’s carbon footprint?

A: Cohousing takes an individual out of the single home mindset. Top of mind: better lifestyle, greener lifestyle. Seniors realize that it’s really okay to leave their ranchette and move closer to town knowing they will be living with people they are comfortable with and that they are creating a home they can easily maintain for the next 20+ years.

Last year Americans drove 5 billion miles caring for seniors in their homes (Meals on Wheels, Whistle Stop Nurses, and so on). In our small, semi-rural county in the Sierra foothills, Telecare made 60,000 trips in massive, lumbering, polluting vans-buses – usually carrying only one senior at a time – schlepping a couple thousand seniors total over hill and dale to doctor’s appointments, to pick up medicine, or to see friends.

In our cohousing community of 21 seniors, I have never seen a single Telecare bus in the driveway. In cohousing it happens organically by caring neighbors: “Can I catch a ride with you?” or “Are you headed to the drug store?”, etc.

This alternative is much more fun and inexpensive for all involved, and much less damaging to the environment. For instance, Wolf Creek Lodge, a new senior cohousing community about to start construction, has 30 units to be built on 1 acre within walking distance of downtown Grass Valley, population 12,000.

Senior cohousing is a mind shift that is not just greener—it makes a better life.

Q: How does cohousing effect my retirement planning?

A: Cohousing is a proactive, realistic way of addressing issues. Really, it’s an ultra-responsible approach to assessing how to provide for one’s own future. Everyone in the process is dealing with understanding that mortality is real and that aging successfully means examining the whole person benefits—economic, emotional and physical well being. Cohousers choose to place themselves in a fun, life-affirming and embracing community.

The big thing here is that by living independently longer, money is saved at every juncture, so by taking control, resources can go much further. Turns out that an independent, quality life costs less than facilitated retirement.

Q: What kind of start-up process is involved?

A: First off, contact a cohousing company. They will find out what considerations and requirement are needed for your specific area. They will also be able to guide you in forming a group.

Next, read the book. Then start talking to friends. Host a presentation in your town, secure a site. You may already know some of your new cohousing neighbors.

Hear Durrett speak about how the 50+ population is redefining its future by applying cohousing concepts.

Contact Charles Durrett by calling The Cohousing Company at 530.265.9980. Visit:http://www.cohousingco.com/.

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SilverDoor Produces Its Half Yearly Figures And Sees Huge Growth

SilverDoor is reporting a huge growth over the past year despite the recession currently gripping the UK. The serviced apartment provider has seen a 41% year on year growth, according to newly published figures.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said the pace of the global downturn is now moderating after the sharp drop in the six months leading up to March and that the recovery is likely to be weak and fragile for some time. However, despite hotels being hit hard during this time, the serviced apartment industry clearly hasn’t been, given the figures SilverDoor has published.

Not only has SilverDoor seen a large growth year on year, it has also increased its portfolio due to client demand, adding new Manchester serviced apartments and additional serviced apartments in Bristol.

The Deans Gate Apartments in Manchester are located in the popular Deansgate area, amongst some of the city’s most famous attractions. They provide a range of two bedroom apartments and a three bedroom duplex, with many of the apartments benefitting from a private balcony. The apartments are furnished and include fully equipped kitchens and spacious living/dining rooms with flat screen TV’s. As competition becomes fierce, more and more serviced apartments are offering value added extras and The Deans Gate Apartments offer an airport or rail pick up for a small charge.

Another new offering is the Portland Apartments in Bristol which provides contemporary serviced accommodation set within an elegant Georgian Square, and just minutes from the city centre. These apartments feature modern amenities and offer a choice of one or two bedroom apartments, as well as studios and a penthouse. All come with a fully equipped kitchen and a comfortable lounge area.

“Every day we see reports stating the decline in people using hotel accommodation at this time, yet we’ve found that serviced apartments have not been hit in the same way. It’s such a cost effective solution and more and more companies are going down this route to save on accommodation spend,” said Marnie Delaney-Parker, Head of PR and Marketing at SilverDoor. “It’s not just the per night spend either, as companies can save on the additional costs of room service or restaurant bills as well as laundry bills. We have seen a significant growth and are not historically entering our busiest period.”

About SilverDoor

SilverDoor international serviced apartments was incorporated as a limited company in March 2000 under its original name of Hotdigs. At the beginning of January 2006 the company changed its name to SilverDoor. The company was formed and continues to be led by managing director Marcus Angell.

SilverDoor boasts an impressive client portfolio which includes many FTSE 100 companies such as Cadbury, MAN Group PLC, ICAP and Serco Group as well as relocation and hotel booking agents.

SilverDoor offers serviced apartments in over 170 locations globally such as London, Paris, New York, Abu Dhabi and Toyko. SilverDoor has also just added to its portfolio with additional new London serviced apartments and a selection of serviced apartments in Liverpool as well as new serviced apartments in Croydon. SilverDoor currently represent over thirty two thousand apartments globally.

SilverDoor is based in Chiswick, West London.

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Perspective International Unveils Fractional Property Guide

Officially launching July 1st, the new Fractional Property Guide has been unveiled in preview mode to enable system checks and prospective advertisers to get a feel for the new service. The site can be viewed at http://www.ownersperspective.com/fractionalpropertyguide/

ownersperspective

“Whilst there are several other excellent websites that provide property listings for fractional ownership, we have been compelled to produce ours through demand f r o m our consumer magazine readership which reaches more than 42,000 prospective buyers each month.” Says Paul Mattimoe, CEO of Perspective International.

Owners Perspective Magazine (http://www.ownersperspective.com) which launched in print in January 2009 has taken bold steps to bring the shared ownership industry to the general public, and in a matter of a few months has negotiated distribution deals with leading UK supermarkets, travel and property shows, selected hotels and resorts and shortly will add airport lounges across Europe to its already significant monthly reach of 42,000+ readership.

“It is essential for us to continue to differentiate ourselves f r o m competitors, and our offline reach is the key ingredient here. We don’t really base our online advertising platforms on “hits” or “impressions”, we simply provide direct enquiry forms and let each advertiser monitor the return on their advertising spend with 100% quantifiable results.” Comments Mr. Mattimoe.

Over the past few months, readers of Owners Perspective Magazine have favoured the articles relating to Fractional Ownership and have actively interacted with current advertisers for more information. The Fractional Property Guide, which resides within the main website, rather than a standalone website, is designed to harness the high traffic of the magazine to provide highly targeted and product educated, fresh purchase enquiries for fractional property developers.

The online enquiry forms offer the consumer the chance to request brochures, inspection visits, enquire about available inventory and request a telephone call, whilst also providing the developer with full contact details as well as other useful qualifying information.

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A Joint Venture Has Relaunched Newskys As A Fractional Ownership Property Portal

A joint venture has relaunched NewSkys as a fractional ownership property portal – TheMoveChannel.com and Richmond Green Group have combined their knowledge and experience in the overseas property sector to create a platform offering visitors the very latest in fractional news, advice and opportunities…

A joint venture has relaunched NewSkys as a fractional ownership property portal – TheMoveChannel.com and Richmond Green Group have combined their knowledge and experience in the overseas property sector to create a platform offering visitors the very latest in fractional news, advice and opportunities…

The world of fractional property and shared ownership is growing exponentially and NewSkys.co.uk reflects that – relaunching as the place to find all of the latest fractional ownership investment and lifestyle opportunities.

NewSkys is a winning mix of TheMoveChannel.com ’s technical and online marketing experience and Richmond Green Group’s knowledge of the fractional ownership sector through its consultancy business RGM Fractional.

The concept of fractional ownership is a sensible, affordable and common sense way of owning property abroad and NewSkys aims to bring both potential buyers and existing owners in touch with the most up to date news on the world of fractional ownership.

It also showcases a large selection of fractional schemes through an extensive and detailed search.

Dan Johnson, Director of TheMoveChannel.com said, “This brings together two of the biggest hitters in terms of overseas property marketing.

“We have nearly a decade of online experience in the sector and coupled with the expertise of RGG in the fractional sector, it should make for a powerful combination of skills.

“Our role will be to ensure the Newskys site has great visibility online, both in terms of natural search and pay per click – two areas where we know we can out-think, out-flank and out-resource the competition.

“By the end of the summer, Newskys will already be well on the way to establishing itself as the leading online vehicle for marketing fractional ownership property to the UK audience,” added Mr Johnson.

Drawing on the expertise of both organisations, the editorially driven site will cover all aspects of shared ownership with regular news bulletins f r o m around the world, a weekly email newsletter, property listings, destination updates, buying advice, buyer experiences and details of upcoming events.

Trevor Little, former Editor of Overseas Property Professional, will manage content for the portal – which went live on June 22nd.

Xavier Wiggins, CEO of Richmond Green Group, said, “We aim to offer the widest selection of fractional ownership opportunities f r o m global destinations.”

For more information on UK and overseas properties and the market in general, please visit http://www.themovechannel.com

TheMoveChannel.com is a property website that was founded in 1999 as an online resource for buying, selling and learning about property. It now receives as many as 300,000 visits per month and advertises over 50,000 properties in nearly 90 countries, which are listed by over 500 partner organisations.

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Cohousing – The Case for Change America’s Small House Movement

Job insecurity and the mortgage crisis are combining to drive change in America’s housing market, and cohousing is a concept coming of age.

Cohousing, which groups 20-30 individual, self-contained homes around a neighborhood plan with shared common kitchens and community spaces, originated in Denmark in the 1960’s. Brought to America by architects Katie MacCamant and Charles Durrett, this sustainable model is gaining momentum, with over 115 cohousing communities in the United States to date.

Cohousing projects are known for reducing the carbon footprint of housing in at least three key ways—green and re-used building materials; shared community features allows individual homes to be smaller, and lastly; changing behaviors to community living, which results in less car travel and localized lifestyles.

Smaller houses, shared spaces and environmentally sound building practices successfully trade out excess for improved quality of life and reduced cost of living. David Wann’s book, Simple Prosperity, suggests, “If the United States and other wayward nations are wise enough to substitute moderation for excess, our world can come back into balance, maybe just in time.” Author Wann lives in a cohousing community and has served on Cohousing Association’s Board of Directors.

The biggest benefit to cohousing though, may just be living with neighbors and the natural reduction of duplicated community resources through sharing common space, dining and chores. “Knowing our neighbors, feeling like we belong, being a part of something that we care about and that cares about us…” Chris Scott Hanson, The Cohousing Handbook: Building a Place for Community

If you are ready for Cohousing 101, the Cohousing Association of the United States is holding it’s annual conference, Growing Community, in Seattle, June 24-28. This event brings together international thought leaders, professionals, cohousing grass-roots experts, and those interested in cohousing. Growing Community features seminars, presentations and tours. Presenters include one of Denmark’s cohousing concept originators, Jan Gudmand Hoyer, architects and authors Charles Durrett, Katie McCamant, cohousing consultant Chris Scott Hanson.

Cohousing Association’s slogan “Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time” may just be the type of housing change America can truly believe in.

To learn more or register, visit www.cohousing.org, email growing@cohous.org or call 866-758-3942 (toll free) or 314-754-5828.

Event details:
WHO: Cohousing Association of the US
WHAT: Growing Community, International Cohousing Summit, Pre-Conference Workshops and Tours, National Cohousing Conference
WHEN: International Cohousing Summit (by invitation)—Sunday, June 21 thru Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Pre-Conference Workshops and Tours—Wednesday, June 24 thru Friday, June 26, 2009
National Cohousing Conference— Friday, June 26 thru Sunday, June 28, 2009
RESERVE: http://www.cohousing.org/conference
WHERE: Conference events will be at the University of Washington plus a variety of regional onsite tours
FEES: Some offerings are free; workshops begin as low as $20, full conference registration $375 ($325 for first 50 registrants)

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