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BEACON Senior News

It takes a village: New co-op housing awaits seniors

Feb 20, 2024 02:46PM ● By G. L. Yenne

Retirement? Great! House repairs? Not so much. If you long for easier maintenance but still want to own a home, the Village Cooperative of Ute Valley may suit your needs. 

“I love working with active seniors, helping them find a solution to a home that has become too much to manage, or for those who want a lifestyle of ease after working hard all their adult lives,” said sales manager Janet St. Peter. 

Active adults 62+ enjoy the peace of mind of a secure setting with neighbors who respect each other’s privacy.

New construction prices start at $198,000. The open floor plans are 900-1,600 square feet and feature one-level accessible living. Private decks, storage space and hotel-type guest rooms provide extra space.

Amenities include an underground heated parking garage and utility bay/vacuum station, community and club areas, a fitness room and reading areas. Pets are allowed if registered annually. 

Activities like potlucks, movie and game nights, Bible and book studies, themed parties and exercise groups keep residents active and engaged.

“The cost of buy-in compared to the purchase of a smaller single-family home or condo greatly interested us, as our costs of living had been reduced,” said Village Cooperative members Gordon and Lynn McCollum. “We are happy to be rid of lawn care, snow removal, climbing stairs to do laundry and constant repair!”

Cooperative living is relatively new to Colorado Springs. The Village Cooperative is a national network of nonprofit senior cooperative housing communities, sometimes called “co-ops,” owned and run by the members. The co-op’s member-elected board of directors monitors building operations, which keeps costs down. Each member has a voice in how the co-op is run. 

These communities have existed for over 40 years, mostly in the Midwest and West. There are 44 Village Cooperatives scattered across 10 states (and counting), with 12 in Colorado. Real Estate Equities Development, LLC, the company behind Village Cooperatives, was established in 1972, focusing on senior cooperative development since 2004. 

“When people decide to live here, they are not only wanting to get rid of the oversized house that doesn’t live comfortably anymore, but also to live better, to have closer ties to their neighbors and to have the little luxuries they deserve,” said Steve Von Schmidt, marketing director for Real Estate Equities Development. 

Many members said moving into a senior cooperative meant they could downsize and move on their own terms, before declining health forced it. 

“The magic starts to happen” around the four-month mark, St. Peter said, when co-op residents are “surrounded by a ‘village’ with others to join activities, share their lives, play games and eat meals.”

For more information, contact Janet St. Peter at 719-425-8090 (office) and 719-424-2243 (mobile). She holds monthly informational seminars at Embassy Suites, 5570 Tech Center Drive. Visit the Co-op in person at 7222 Commerce Center Drive #201, or online at