Antioch College to build $6.5M cohousing development

Shared spaces will connect community with the college, supporters say.

Plans for Antioch College Village, a 32-unit development, gained momentum after the college board of trustees approved the new campus housing plans.

There are no design plans yet for College Village, however the development will probably include a combination of a single- and multi-family buildings that would house smaller units, said Sandy Wiggins, a development consultant with Consilience LLC based in Washington, D.C., who has been working with the college on the project for two years.

Typically in a cohousing development, each person or family has a separate private home and the community shares a large common house that includes shared spaces such as a workshop, craft room or extra bedrooms for guests.

“That becomes a shared resource for all of the homeowners in the cohousing community,” Wiggins said.

An exact location for College Village has not be finalized, but the development will probably be located on North College Street west of Livermoore Street.

At the earliest, construction is expected to start as early as June 2017.

Cohousing communities are not the largest housing market, but this type of development is growing, said Alice Alexander, the Cohousing Association of the United States executive director.

As of April, there are 162 established cohousing communities, according to Alexander.

“It’s growing because people are anxious, they’re looking for security,” she said. “They’re looking for happiness, and they’re looking for a way to live lighter on the planet. Baby boomers are driving a lot of this.”

Common house amenities depend on what the community wants, but this area typically includes a kitchen and a dining room.

“Breaking bread together is the best way to build community,” Alexander said. “Everybody needs to eat, and it can be a very joyous thing.”

College Village is a pilot program for the college’s larger housing plan that will include a mix of housing with 350 to 360 residences, according to Wiggins. The entire project could take up to a decade to complete.

“It’s part of a larger vision for Antioch College to include a community of lifelong learners in its environment,” he said. “So the cohousing is one small piece of this, and it was selected because there is a very active, organized and engaged cohousing group in the area. It’s an easy first step into this larger project because the buyers are there ready to go.”

The cohousing units are a “welcome addition” to the village, said Karen Wintrow, the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce executive director and the Yellow Springs Village Council president.

“The cohousing concept at Antioch College Village will bring a much desired housing element to the village giving our multi-generational community of life-long learners a collaborative and sustainable way to live,” she said.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.