Co-op Living On It’s Way To Urbana

Published in Corridor Business Journal, October 29, 2018

Hoping to ride the wave of retiring baby boomers, the developers behind The Views Senior Living in both Cedar Rapids and Marion are now planning a 31-unit cooperative living community in the small but fast-growing town of Urbana.

“Boomers, you’ve earned it. Baby, you deserve it!” are the words greeting visitors to the Uptown Living of Urbana website, which pitches freedom to travel, pursue hobbies and spend time with family away from the constraints of single-family homeownership. It also positions the cooperative concept as an opportunity to help shape a unique living experience with community peers.

“Baby boomers are younger than the generation in senior living already, and we wanted to market something that didn’t feel like other places, that didn’t say ‘hey, senior citizens,'” said Karen Everling, marketing coordinator for the project. “We’ve had a good response to that. It’s fun and people like to feel part of something, whether they’re Gen X or millennials or baby boomers.”

The $12.5 million development, set for construction just east of Urbana City Hall on 54th Street Lane, is being financed under the Section 213 housing program administered by HUD, which is aimed at helping nonprofits and trusts develop housing projects to be operated as cooperatives by resident shareholders. At least one homeowner must be 62 years of age or older and projects must be 60 percent pre-sold prior to its loan closing. John Baumhoefner, president of Views Development and Uptown Living, said that means between 18-20 units will need to be reserved before proceeding with construction, which he estimated would take about 10 months.

The sales process will kick off with a November open house to begin discussing the development process and possible amenities with interested community members. Upscale Living, which is eying similar developments in Marion, Peosta, Bettendorf and Belle Plaine, will offer parking, storage and outdoor living space as fixed amenities, but just what those look like will be shaped by residents.

To read the full membersfirst story in this week’s CBJ digital edition, click here.

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