What isCo-Housing? Where are they in the MetroABQ? & A Dramatic & Unique Sandia Heights Property--
Come See It Sunday!
Above is the village plat map, a 27-unit planned cohousing community in the South Valley, along the Rio Grande Bosque.
As the MetroABQ becomes more populated, smart infill is a key to comfortable urban living. Many Albuquerque neighborhoods typically consist of single-family suburban homes & apartments, with little by way of public space encouraging personal interaction.
In the 1960's, a few innovative designers in Denmark began addressing this general urban disparity by combining important elements of different neighborhoods into cohousing communities, & pocket neighborhoods focusing on cohousing have been evolving ever since.
From the book Pocket Neighborhoods, creating small-scale community in a large-scale world, author Ross Chaplin compiles & describes different types of pocket neighborhoods. A few chapters describe cohousing concepts. Some important threads include a "central pedestrian (public) area with homes looking on, a common house for dining & recreation, & cars limited to the periphery." Often the one-&-two-story attached houses are clustered, preserving space for playing fields, gardens & other public spaces. Chaplin mentions that for cohousing, a reasonably small number of houses, 12-30, perhaps, seems to work best.
Each home is privately owned, with independant incomes & private lives. However, residents collectively own all the public facilities like a common house, gardens, rec room, & all outdoor public spaces. The sharing of these public places fosters a sense of belonging in a community.
An existing cohousing community lives next to La Montañita Coop in the North Valley on Rio Grande. Acequia Jardín includes 10 houses all clustered around a central greenspace, with a guest casita for residents' guests. Each cohousing community provides different amenities depending on the space & location. At Acequia Jardín, "Home ownership includes a one-tenth share of the community garden, guest casita, community room & common lands." There are community flower & vegetable gardens, along with numerous other amenities.
Below are some images of the community. Notice the above-ground rainwater catchment cistern, which captures rooftop rainwater & stores it for the gardens.
The plat map for Acequia Jardín shows clustered buildings along the back section, allowing for gardening & community spaces in other areas. Parking is ample but relegated to certain areas of the complex.
Currently there is a unit available for sale at Acequia Jardín. 2324 Rio Grande Boulevard NW is a two bedroom/two bath home. The courtyard is below.
Many cohousing communities practice a sustainable/low impact style of living. Achieving a Net-Zero is the ultimate goal, which is producing enough energy (through solar panels or passive heating, for example) to offset all energy consumed.
Another important aspect of the cohousing experience includes the individual interests of the residents. One of my favorite people, Mary Zaremba, seen below in her private courtyard, lives in Acequia Jardín & loves it. She is a renowned local artist, always creating new & unique images (see the April Price Gallery's recent "Constructed Reality" show); an image of hers from opening night is below.
Being in proximity to other people who may share your hobbies also adds to the inclusive community feel. Hiking & biking, gardening, photography, yoga, art, theatre & movies, are just a few of the individual interests shared by many of the community members.
The far top image is a plat map for a planned cohousing community in the near South Valley, across the river from Tingley Beach & the Albuquerque Country Club community. Envisioned by Cohousing ABQ, & in the Vecinos del Bosque neighborhood, the 2.3 acre site--still a large vacant lot that abuts the Rio Grande--will have 27 homes with over 60% open space, & several sites planned for agricultural production. The site is close to the ABQ Biopark, numerous restaurants & lodging, like the refurbished El Vado Motel close-by.
In the Vecinos del Bosque cohousing community, "all dwelling units & the common club house to comply with the PHIUS+ 2018 Source Zero Passive Building Standard. This is the most rigorous energy standard for buildings that currently exists in the US & balances aggressive energy and carbon reduction with both cost effectiveness & strict source energy requirements. All homes meet the Passive Building Standard: continuous superinsulation throughout the entire airtight building envelope; high-performance windows & doors; minimal space conditioning with balanced heat & moisture recovery system; & exploitation of solar gain to maximize the sun's energy during the heating season & minimize overheating during the cooling season. In addition to high level of comfort even in the most extreme weather, Passive House homes are extremely resilient buildings with almost no moving parts & with just one or two PV panels they will achieve ‘net-zero’ carbon emissions over the year." ~From their website.
From CohousingABQ.org: At the South Valley cohousing community, the estimated home prices range from $125,000 - $430,000, comparable to prices of newly built energy-efficient homes in Albuquerque.
As the cohousing movement progresses, communities will adjust the concept to better fit their needs. There already exists MetroABQ pocket neighborhoods that are similar to the cohousing concept, but different. One example is Cimino Compound, a pocket neighborhood near Griegos & Rio Grande Blvd in the North Valley, consisting of 80 smaller, attached, mostly adobe-built residences. They share common greenspaces, private gardens, community center & pool, with a location on the acequia. I appreciate that for retirees & frequent travelers who may not want to tend to a lawn or have to re-stucco the home--which is included in the HOA--a place like Cimino Compound would work well.
Above is an image of one of the public greenspaces at Cimino. I will be listing for sale a one bedroom, one bath home there. Click on the image below to access a 3-D Virtual Walking Tour of another sample unit. Call me for details...
Every once in a while I come across a crazily unique & interesting homethat is difficult to characterize.
How does one describe the image above? "Brass porpoise tub fixture with riding child," perhaps. I am fortunate to regularly come across interesting properties scattered around the MetroABQ. This one lives near the Sandia Mountains Foothills Open Space, in Sandia Heights. I am excited to hold it as an Open House.
The vintage wallpaper is fabulous, the detailed 'climbing' Italianate kitchen tile is mesmerizing, the grand two-story entry will take your breath away, the solid marble towel racks are over-the-top, the lap pool with marble cherub attendants is Wow...& the 180 degree views will make you stop & consider life in a new way. Read more about it below...
Open House Sunday November 24th, from 1-3pm.
2 Sandia Heights Drive NE can be found just north of the Sandia Peak Tramway.
An Italian-influenced villa with spectacular 180 degree city light views! European old-world grandeur combined with a very livable floorplan. The foyer boasts Marble floors, Roman pillars, 4' wide front door flanked by beveled glass panels & a large brass chandelier. Come see!
The living room has herringbone wood floors, a fireplace with marble surround, mantle & hearth, spectacular views of city lights and sunsets, coffered ceilings with recessed lighting, 16' ceilings and 6'' baseboards. The palatial master suite has 9'10'' ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace, built in bookshelves, views of city lights, balcony, workout room, jetted tub with bay window & doric columns, faux marble wallpaper, real marble towel racks, walk in closet, large sauna, separate shower, laundry chute, toilet & bidet.
Directions: From Paseo Del Norte and Tramway Blvd., go North on Tramway Blvd to Tramway Rd. NE. Turn Right (East) on Tramway Rd. and continue to Sandia Heights Rd. Turn Left (North) on Sandia Heights Rd, and continue to Sandia Heights Dr. Turn Right (East) on Sandia Heights Dr., then continue to property on your right, to the South of Sandia Heights Dr.