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One big happy family: Maitri House in Takoma Park

I’m still not convinced there’s an actual growing trend of co-ops, intentional communities, co-housing buildings, and other arrangements that fall into the communal living category. But the articles certainly keep coming!

Over the summer, I wrote about Maitri House, a 20-person intentional community that moved into their Takoma Park house in 2008. Then, in early October, the New York Times wrote about burgeoning interest in intentional communities and growing numbers of Craigslist users looking for communal living groups.

Now, New York magazine has a lengthy story on a co-housing community that formed in Brooklyn in 2007. The article doesn’t say the exact number of members, but it says “the group is now at sixteen full-member households and seven provisionals. They could badly use about ten more and would love some from Manhattan.”

Mind you, the community does not live together yet. They’re looking for buildings to renovate. Here’s more on the vision:

In exchange for paying above-standard real-estate rates for one of 30 smaller-than-usual apartments (a 660-square-foot two-bedroom might cost about $500,000), the group’s members will share 11,000 square feet of common areas—including a “great room” and community kitchen, a children’s playroom and an “adults-only lounge,” four guest rooms for visitors, a courtyard, and a wine cellar.

The supersize amenities are all meant to encourage a socially porous lifestyle, with people dropping in and out of one another’s apartments; splitting maintenance and gardening tasks; attending weekly meals in the great room; and reading and chatting in chairs positioned outside their doors, which are envisioned to stay mostly open.

The community has already lost one prospective home in Fort Greene, and it looks like they may have lost another in Park Slope. This sale and renovation deal comes with a projected price tag of 16 million.

Image by Darrow Montgomery