It’s been a long time coming but the door of the first completed cottage at Riverside Crossing Active Adult Cottage Cooperative in Hamilton was open to the public last week for a walk-through before the new residents move in.
Paul Travitz, Executive Director of the Ravalli Council on Aging, was obviously proud of the new home. It is the fruition of a vision that Travitz carefully and patiently nurtured for a long time before actually putting anything into the ground.
Then came the groundbreaking last spring and now the first of 55 planned cottages is ready for occupation in Montana’s first cooperative housing project.
The design for the housing project is based on the Pocket Neighborhood concept developed by architect Ross Chapin. A number of cottages is grouped together around an open space that is shared. Cottages range in size from 684 square feet to 1,817 square feet.
Travitz said the open house was packed on Saturday. Attendance on Sunday was a little lighter. He said the most difficult hurdle was getting people to understand the cooperative ownership model. No one owns an individual home outright in the project. They buy into the whole development by purchasing a $50,000 stock certificate in the company which is owned and operated by all the cottage residents. The $50,000 goes towards the cost of the cottage which varies on the size of the cottage chosen.
After they move in, residents pay a monthly fee that covers the cost of property taxes, maintenance of the grounds and the cottage, a stipend for utilities, the cost of lawn care and snow removal and other amenities. Members determine monthly charges, rules and regulations, and community policies.
“It’s an unfamiliar way of doing things,” said Travitz. But he is confident that as people investigate the cooperative ownership model they will grow more comfortable with it.
Designs exist for seven different sizes of cottages and can now be reserved. Travitz said the homes will be constructed as they are purchased. The new owners of the first cottage will be moving in next week.
The cottage neighborhood is designed to encourage neighborhood familiarity and balance them with the needs for privacy. It designed for active adults who are ready to downsize and not put a lot of labor into maintenance and upkeep and maybe like to travel knowing that their home is being taken care of.
Travitz said there are additional benefits in the neighborhood as it is located in a tax financing district in which all taxes go back into the infrastructure development within the district. It is also located in an economic Opportunity Zone and has some assisted living facilities and a dementia care facility located nearby.
Informational meetings are held every Thursday at 2 p.m. at Ravalli County Economic Development Authority, 274 Old Corvallis Road, Suite I or call 406-282-4776 for a personal appointment or visit www.riversidecrossing.org.
Or you may contact Paul Travitz at the Ravalli County Council on Aging located at 310 Old Corvallis Road, phone 363-5690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .