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Oak Park Cohousing in the News
Oak Park Commons Breaks Ground
Wednesday Journal - September 21, 2023
Illinois’s first co-housing development saw shovels hit the ground last week, and membership chair Susan Stall said it is gratifying to see the project coming to fruition after years of planning.
Stall and her husband Charlie Hoch are Oak Park residents who have been passionate about bringing co-housing to Oak Park since they formed the Oak Park Multi-Generational Co-Housing Group in 2018.
The aim of the co-housing project is to foster intergenerational connection, diversity and inclusiveness through a community of adjoining private apartments that share a common space. The common elements are intentionally designed to encourage social interaction among neighbors and to create a safe and friendly environment for all ages.
“It’s hard to get people to believe in this. You’re not just buying a condo, you’re buying a community,” Stall said.
Intergenerational Cohousing Coming to Oak Park
Axios Chicago - January 26, 2023
The state’s first intergenerational cohousing building, designed to mingle families of all ages, is set to break ground this spring in Oak Park.
Why it matters: The development at Carpenter Avenue and Madison Street, called Oak Park Commons, finally brings this eco-conscious, communal living style to the urban Midwest — as opposed to just the coasts and college towns.
The intergenerational aspect helps with child care, elder care and promotes “a sense of belonging,” organizers say.
What’s happening: Ten founding families have already signed up for a condo in the 24-family development, but organizers are seeking at least five more to make the project more economically stable.
Oak Park Cohousing Community Gets Green Light
Wednesday Journal - November 30, 2022
This fall, the first intergenerational cohousing community in Illinois took big steps forward towards construction in Oak Park. Both the Oak Park Plan Commission and the Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved the development planned Madison Street at Carpenter Avenue, and the building is on its way to breaking ground in 2023.
To date, the 24-unit building has eight owners with units already reserved and nine equity investors. Susan Stall, chair of the membership and marketing committee for Oak Park Commons development, says those investors have already committed $1.2 million of the building’s estimated $11.5 million cost.
Those who have invested in the acquisition and development of the Oak Park Commons cohousing project gather at the site where they will live in the future. The project is slated to break ground next year.
Alex Rogals/Staff Photographer
Cohousing Community Gathers Steam
Wednesday Journal - May 26, 2022
It has been years in the making, but Oak Park Commons, the first intergenerational cohousing community in Oak Park and the state, is getting closer to becoming a reality. A few years prior to the pandemic, Oak Park residents Susan Stall and her husband, Charlie Hoch, were among a core group who set out to create the state’s first intergenerational cohousing community in their hometown.
A shared, common purpose sets a cohousing development apart from other multifamily living spaces. Residents share common spaces, which are intentionally planned to foster social interaction among residents of all generations. In addition, Oak Park Commons will be a multi-unit building that promotes energy conservation practices and environmental sustainability.
Prior to the pandemic, the group met regularly to recruit members and discuss goals. Today, Oak Park Commons members have learned a lot, and have begun to focus on the finer details involved in constructing a home for their members.
Day in Our Village June 5, 2022
Oak Park Commons Cohousing
Wednesday Journal - April 12, 2022
Oak Park Commons will be the first cohousing development in the state of Illinois. Last February, after three years of focused, creative work, Oak Park Commons Cohousing LLC (OPCC) identified a suitable and available parcel of land located at the corner of Carpenter Avenue and Madison Street, just west of Sugar Beet and Walgreens.
Hoch commented that current plans for Oak Park Commons include a mix of studio, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom ADA accessible dwellings in a five-story 27-unit elevator condominium. “A large common room and adjoining rooftop garden will be located on the fifth floor,” he stated.
This ambitious and creative project has had challenges from its inception, including location, financing and equity. “We believe that diversity in age, race, ethnicity, gender, ability and experience improves rather than detracts from community,” said Stall. “Cohousing fosters reciprocity and shared values,” added Hoch.
Currently, OPCC is recruiting members and investors. Can you support this important groundbreaking project? Have you thought about helping to create the very place where you want to live? Now is the time to have that discussion. There are several ways to get more information about, and get involved with, this forward-looking effort:
Attend one of the OPCC upcoming monthly public meetings (via Zoom or in person)
Contact Oak Park Commons Cohousing
Attend the upcoming AWN housing forum, Aging in Our Communities: Housing Accessibility, Affordability & Possibilities, on May 14 at Concordia University, 9-1 p.m.
Oak Park Group Signing up Families for What Might be State's First 'Cohousing' Site
Oak Leaves - Monday April 29, 2019
Tabling at the Sugarbeet Food Coop, April 2019
Organizers of an Oak Park cohousing effort are working to bolster membership as they aim to become the first cohousing community in the state.
Since the effort in the west suburban community was kicked off slightly more than a year go, Susan Stall said they’ve had 10 households commit to the cohousing project and hope to have 15 by fall. “We see that as a minimum amount to go forward and look for a site,” said Stall. She and her husband, Charlie Hoch, are one of the founding households of the local movement.
They hope to find a site, design and construct the building in the next couple of years. Stall says it’s on track to become the first cohousing development in Illinois, and that’s in line with Oak Park’s history and values.
| Caitlin Mullen/Pioneer Press
Co-Housing Comes to Oak Park Group Seeks to Create Affordable, Multi-Generational Community Within a Community
Wednesday Journal - Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Susan Stall (far left) and her husband, Charlie Hoch (far right), formed the Multi-Generational Co-Housing Group in Oak Park, trying to gather like-minded people to build an alternative housing community in the village. Jane Zawadowski (second from right) and her daughter, Ysa, who are members of the group, like co-housing’s principles of shared values and sense of community.
| Alexa Rogals/Staff Photographer
Cohousing in National Publications
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