Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Open House!

We have an open house at 4100 W. Filmore on May 18th from 2-5pm to explore the building and pick unit locations for those who are signing the Letter of Intent. We would love to have you join us.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

May 6 meeting

Arloa summarized the meeting last week this way:
We had a very productive Josiah Community meeting last night. We are at the exciting stage of calling for commitments so that we can move forward with construction. We are asking those who want in, to sign and return the attached letter of intent with a check to Chicago Title and Trust for $5,000. As you can see in the letter of intent, the $5,000 will be refunded if the project falls through entirely. Some of it ($1,000) is non-refundable if the project proceeds past a successful zoning change. When building permits are issued, buyers will be expected to deposit 5% of the purchase price as a down payment on the property. The first 20 to sign the letter of intent are promised a purchase price of $150 per square foot. After that the prices will go up.

We had a lively discussion and all present agreed that this letter of intent is acceptable and reasonable.

In a later email to me, she wrote, "We had twelve people, four new ones, all very cool!!"

If you are interested in getting a copy of the letter, please use the email link in the sidebar to the right and we'll send you one.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Summary of April 20 meeting

Our meeting this past Sunday went very well, for all that it was a small group. I think the most important thing we talked about were next steps. A letter of intent is being drafted that will be a legal agreement between potential buyers and the non-profit development company. This letter of intent will be a map for the different stages: getting the zoning on the building changed, creating the association agreement, designing the units, etc. Buyers would put a lump of money in escrow (about $5000) and at each stage, they could back out if they don't like how the process is shaping up but if they wanted to stay in the agreement, part of the money ($1000) would become non-refundable in order to finance the next stage.

If you're not getting emails from Arloa, please send an email to the link in the sidebar to get on the mailing list. You'll get the letter of intent this way.

Another highlight of the meeting were Kristen and her husband Brad, who came all the way from, well, I don't remember, but somewhere south, because they're moving to Chicago and wanted to see what this was all about. She wrote about it here on her own blog.

Our next meeting is Tuesday, May 6 at 7:00 at 402 N. St. Louis. We'll have the final letter of intent available for official signing. Again, if you're on the email list, you'll get a copy beforehand to let your lawyer look it over. If you want to get in on the (metaphorical) ground floor, this is your chance.

Monday, March 31, 2008

How green will the Josiah Community be?

How green will the Josiah Community be?

Where did you get the Josiah Community name?

Arloa writes:

Josiah was a young king who asked the high priest Hilkiah to clean out the temple. In the temple Hilkiah found the Word of God which had not been read or obeyed for years. When the Scripture was read to Josiah, he tore his robes and repented. Later, Jeremiah would say of Josiah, “He defended the cause of the poor and needy so that all went well. ‘Is that not what it means to know me?’ declares the Lord.” We hope that the Josiah Community will be a place where people can dialogue in honesty about Scripture and how it is applied in an urban setting where together, in an economically depressed community, we will experience the affects of economic struggle and social injustice. Hopefully in so doing, we, like Josiah, will discover what it means to know God.

Meeting summary - March 30

A good group of folks gathered at Breakthrough on Sunday to continue our discussion of what this intentional community will look like.

Jeff (our developer) and Jose made a 3D animation presentation of what the layout of one 15-unit floor would look like. The visuals will be available online soon. We envision a mix of studio (640 sq ft), 1, 2, 3 and 3+ bedroom units.

One of the most interesting pieces of information that I got from this part of the presentation is that once we have reached critical mass of folks that want to purchase 20 units total, we will go on a retreat with the architect who is the leading expert in co-housing and determine what design aspects to include that encourage community-building.

We also clarified that although we will have much more input in the early stages of development of this project, financially, our risk will be minimal and the same as any other condo development, since our earnest money will be put in escrow until the units are actually delivered.

Profit for the developer will be factored in to the costs of the units with the intent that this profit will be re-invested in the Josiah 501c3 Learning Community that will occupy the first and second floors.

In terms of a timeline, we'll need signed contracts for 20 units in the next three months to convince the company financing the development that we're serious. We expect the units to be ready in Fall of 2009.

Tentative per unit costs were proposed with the understanding that they are, in fact, tentative. They range from $150 a square foot to $175 a square foot. Assessment fees (which are predicted to be smaller than average) and taxes would be additional. Jeff noted that if down payments were a problem for some buyers, we had access to several programs for help with that.

As a group, we encouraged Jeff to firm up the numbers since that will be THE deciding factor for many folks on whether or not this is a feasible opportunity.

At the very end of the meeting, as I had to leave, several people wanted to talk more about the aspects of community living that we're planning. I proposed that we make that a major agenda item for our next meeting, which will be April 20 at 2:00. However, we can start that conversation here to create a more detailed agenda for the next meeting.

If you have anything to add to this summary (I'm working from memory) or would like to use it as a jumping off point for further discussion, either comment below or send me an email (link on the sidebar) and I'll start a fresh post dedicated to that topic.

Thanks to everyone who showed up, especially the new folks and a couple of guys from Indianapolis. Woohoo!


What is this I hear about a rooftop garden?

At the meeting on Sunday, folks asked about a patio/grill space on the roof itself, with a view of the city.

The rooftop garden would be located on the adjacent one-story building just west of our building.

Any questions or comments?

What are your preferences for parking?

At one of the early meetings, I remember that we were offered the option of indoor attached and possibly heated parking. The reaction of that group was to say that, overall, building a relationship with the people in the neighborhood was important, since we don't want to be primarily idenitfied as gentrifiers. An indoor parking garage would inhibit this mission.

I think the two other things to consider are safety (of self and property) and cost.

Are there thoughts about these issues or about others that I didn't think of?


Sunday, March 30, 2008

What about animals?

A dog run in the back. What else?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What about kids?

Let's use this post to talk about the needs of kids: homeschooling, daycare and after-school tutoring.