Harmony Terrace is a new residential community near Tampa, Florida. We are on the path to start construction on our new community of 25 homes of different sizes as soon as the ink is dry on all the plans and contracts. We own almost 5 acres of beautiful land with a main house that will be converted to our common house, several out buildings, and many towering Grand Oak trees that provide glorious shade.
We began planning in 2018 as an interest group of friends who wanted to build a new and different kind of neighborhood that would not follow the isolated model of traditional available housing. After researching, we found the models of Cohousing and “Pocket Neighborhoods”. We have been dreaming, organizing, and planning together since that time, working under the name Cohousing Tampa. In January of 2021, our dreams came to reality when we were able to buy 3 acres of land. In June, we were able to buy nearly 2 acres more. During our first year, we purchased our land, hired attorneys, hired an architect, and we are well on our way to meet our goal to create our community.
We are now busy in our second year of building our community from the ground up. Initially, we did not hire outside consultants to do the work for us, but we are now hiring some to assist our journey. We, the members of Harmony Terrace, are still directing and jointly making the decisions as to what our community will look like.
Video of the Week: A TED talk about cohousing and loneliness. This was recommended by the Gainesville Cohousing Group.
Update January 2023!!
In 2022, we worked our way through our local and state bureaucracies to bring our idealism to reality. We are learning why it’s so difficult to bring a new way of living to the light of day. In March, 2023, our rezoning to a Planned Development Application was approved unanimously by the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners. We are now moving forward continuously to update our house plans, site plan, legal documents, membership processes, etc. etc. etc.
We dream of moving forward to break ground before the end of 2023. We are working with professional business advisors, lawyers, accountants, Architects, Project Managers, and more. Come join in the fun and work with us to build a community we will all love to be a part of!!
FAQ’s: A Place to Start Learning about US
- What style of houses will we build? We have decided on a “Florida Vernacular” style. This broadly means houses with wide eaves (so we can keep the windows open when it rains), broad porches with screens to enjoy the warm winters, high peaked metal roofs to quickly shed rain, tall narrow windows to let in the light… etc. The houses will all be well-insulated concrete block construction, ADA accessible, etc,
- How can we preserve our natural land and the many giant oaks on the property? Each home and homesite has been uniquely designed to fit in and around the trees to maintain our tree-shaded property. We decided that many of the houses will be clustered together (like villas) and some will be free-standing.
- How much will the houses cost? We honestly don’t know yet. We estimate from $180,000 for the 1 BR to $225K for the larger 2 BR. We have several interested in our 2 story 3 and 4 bedroom homes which we hope to build for under $300,000. We are always striving to build affordable, high-quality homes. We will hire one builder to construct our 7 models simultaneously and receive discounts for the scale of our total construction costs.
- How can we build sustainably and with energy efficiency? We plan to include sustainable building materials and methods as much as possible.
- How can we create a balance of private and common spaces? Each home will have a homesite that includes the footprint of the home and 5′ on all exterior sides. Each homesite will also include ownership of 1/26 of all the common areas.
- What will we include in our common spaces? We will have more than an acre of common land in our “central park”, a swimming pool, an art studio, a wood-working space, a community garden, shared golf-carts or scooters or tricycles for transportation inside our community.
- How can we encourage a range of diversities in our community? Our marketing campaign this year will focus on attracting a diverse range of people into our community.
- What form of ownership will we have for our homes? Our common lands and amenities will be in a Condominium form of ownership. Our homes will be also owned under condominium ownership. Each condo unit will include the walls, roof, porches, and 5′ of private land around each home.
- What will be the monthly Condo or HOA fees? Again, we don’t know yet. This will depend upon the assessed tax value of our community, our community insurance policies, our maintenance expenses, our common utilities, and our reserves for future expenses. We plan to have solar panels on our garages that will help pay our utility bills, we plan to do most of regular maintenance ourselves, and overall work together to keep this an affordable and cooperative community.
We have weekly meetings in-person at our property and on Zoom. You are welcome to join us any time. Contact Marla to answer your questions and she will share the zoom link.
Please look around our website for more information (it is being updated daily) and go to the Contact page to reach out to members of our group to chat or ask questions. We are designing and individualizing our houses, deciding on our community living standards, and getting to know each other by working together to build our community. Now is a great time to jump in and join us.