Irresistible Community Builders, LLC presents: Calling All Communitarians

By Tom & Carol Braford

Years ago, we formed a core group of people interested in creating a cohousing community in St Louis. We found a great site in a mixed neighborhood in the eastern part of the Central West End and held a series of workshops with the architects who brought the concept to the US from Denmark. We found there was lots of interest in the idea, and almost before we knew it our plans grew to include four contiguous cohousing neighborhoods on the site. We started referring to it as an Ecovillage, modeled after Ecovillage Ithaca in upstate New York. 

There was some method to our madness! As we learned more and more about what it took to create both socially and environmentally sustainable communities, we realized we had reached the sweet spot and were at a financeable scale. We even had a construction loan that was about to close. Then the larger developers that we had been emulating began to fail, and our loan commitment was withdrawn the day before closing. As it turned out, that probably was a blessing since several other cohousing communities across the country that were under construction when the economic downturn hit either stalled or failed outright. 

Somehow, we managed to hold the project together through that period and other challenges like the pandemic. Now, with all the improvements to the surrounding area, we have renewed interest in financing the project from bankers and investors. But as always, they question whether there really is a market for this in St. Louis. 

So, we plan to do some exploratory webinars to see what the interest level is at this point. Given the high demand for for-sale housing, especially in this area, and the added interest in socially and environmentally- sustainable communities, we suspect it will be quite high. Most cohousing and Ecovillage communities around the country are now sold out before they are built. 

Please reach out to us directly by email to learn about opportunities to connect in March and April. We hope to see you at the Healthy Planet Expo on April 14, and at the Earth Day celebration in Forest Park on April 20 & 21. 

Contact: braford@sbcglobal.net