Oak Park Cohousing
Four families met in January 2018 and began organizing the first cohousing project for Oak Park. Committed to intergenerational diversity they began hosting information meetings for interested prospects. Arbor West Neighbors (https://www.arborwestneighbors.org/), a local non-profit group sponsored the first meeting at LIVE! cafe in February 2018.
Thirty folks attended and more have followed at subsequent meetings held at the Oak Park Public Library. After several years of attempts to find the perfect site for the community the group negotiated to purchase a parking lot at 839 Madison Street in Oak Park in February 2022.
Incorporating as Oak Park Commons Cohousing LLC eight committed partners raised funds to purchase the land in August 2022 and prepare building plans that were approved unanimously by the Oak Park Planning Commission in October and the Village Trustees in November 2022.
Member builder Jonathan Shack provides crucial expertise as the eight equity member households offer assistance on the design & development committee and a membership & marketing committee.
The project is progressing very well, and in September 2023 we held our Ceremonial Groundbreaking. 14 Families are now committed!
Meet Our Residents
Our committed members come from a variety of social and geographic backgrounds and bring a host of professional experience in the fields of architecture, real estate development, urban planning, insurance, business, management, farming, and sociology.
Each equity member contributed 10 percent of preconstruction unit price to become a partner in Oak Park Commons Cohousing LLC. Many of the households provided additional funds as equity loans to help finance land purchase and construction.
I. The physical design of shared common spaces (e.g. mailroom, fireplace, dining area) will foster social interaction.
- Preparing and sharing meals on a regular basis in a common dining area (voluntary & periodic)
- Coordinating social interaction, barter & labor exchange for services among residents
- Common space will include space for gardening, child play & guest rooms
II. Pursue a building design, development strategy & organizational structure that enables moderate, middle & upper income households to become members.
- Members may pay less for smaller dwelling units with fewer amenities and pay more for larger units
- Members with means can purchase units for rental or rent to own for moderate income households
III. The residential buildings will be developed on a location near public transportation & pedestrian accessible shops & services.
IV. Promote & adopt energy conservation practices in the physical construction, maintenance & use of the building & facilities.