In 1997, a group of folks first got together in a living room in North Portland and talked about what it would be like to have a shared housing situation where everyone had his or her own space but access to common outdoor and indoor spaces and amenities. We wanted the best of co-housing--fun, community, low-impact living, and shared resources—combined with the advantages of privacy and individual homeownership. Eli Spevak and Jim Labbe never let go of the idea, and in December 2002 they purchased Peninsula Park Commons, a 7-unit apartment building located in the heart of the Piedmont Neighborhood at 6325 N. Albina. In the summer of 2004 the property was converted to condominiums and units were sold to individuals/couples/families.
Vision and Values
Peninsula Park Commons is founded on the belief that the health and enrichment of individuals, communities, and the places in which they exist are inextricably linked. In forming the Commons, we are striving to establish a co-operatively governed community where a diverse group of people will share physical and social space, and where the development, decision-making and day-to-day operations of the community reflect our core shared values. We commonly understand these values to include:
- Care and respect for other people
- Care and respect for the earth and its natural systems
- A commitment to cooperative decision-making
- Valuing diversity: diverse opinions, backgrounds and styles
- Respect for the balance between personal freedom, privacy and the other needs of individuals, and the needs of the community as a whole
- Commitment to ongoing personal and community growth
- A desire for connection to the larger community of the neighborhood, city and region
What does this mean for members of the community?
- Conventional ownership of individual condominium units
- Cooperative governance through a condominium homeowner’s association
- Sharing in the maintenance and management of buildings and grounds as equitably as possible
- Creating an environment in which it is convenient to share such items as motor vehicles, home appliances, books, garden equipment, costumes, games, outdoor gear, construction tools, entertainment systems and other things suitable for community ownership
- Creating and participating in opportunities for sharing, trust, and spontaneous fun necessary to build a sense of place and community
To achieve these goals, we...
- Converted one unit for common use as a kitchen, dining, office, recreational and guest space
- Completed the sale of all six units in original building
- Implemented Phase One of a landscape plan that includes a variety of public and private outdoor space, and food production
- Continue to provide opportunities for creative expression to enrich private and community space, including the modification of structures and grounds
- Completed development of the North lot, providing three additional living spaces, shared guest house, bike barn and a more private outdoor common courtyard
- Highlight PPC as an example of fun, affordable, sustainable community living in the Portland Metropolitan region and share our experience with the wider community
- Enhance, steward, and enjoy Peninsula Park