Indy Hall and Postgreen: 'We're building a house' - Technical.ly Philly

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Apr. 26, 2011 1:00 pm

Indy Hall and Postgreen: ‘We’re building a house’

The principles of collaboration and shared place that helped launch the Old City coworking space are planned to be used in a new co-housing venture in Kensington with property developer Postgreen.
A rendering of the common area facade, facing West on Howard St.

A rendering of the common area facade, facing West on Howard St.

(Image courtesy of Indy Hall)

The principles of collaboration and shared place that helped launch Old City coworking space Independents Hall are planned to be used in a new co-housing venture in Kensington, announced one of the founder’s at a Philly Tech Week event.

Junto: Rethinking Shelter Philly Tech Week event

How technology will shape the ways and where we live was the focus of a Philly Tech Week installment of the Junto, an informal conversation around a subject put together by web development shop P’unk Ave.

At the event, Alex Hillman, with his Indy Hall co-founder and P’unk Ave chief Geoff DiMasi, fittingly announced their co-housing partnership with Postgreen.

Though an open conversation among two dozen mostly 20 and 30-somethings sitting on the ground, DiMasi moderated something of a panel on the subject, featuring three relevant thought leaders on a couch: architecture and design Brian Phillips, Postgreen co-founder Nic Darling and ‘extreme minimalist’ Andrew Hyde.

Some take aways:

  • Phillips: “The great challenge is putting a real  price on more sustainable living. Having a car that is aerodynamic has better gas mileage and saves money. People get that. Why do you want a LEED building? We know why, but the message hasn’t been sent.”
  • DiMasi: “In the city, the local park is your living room, and as people move back into walkable environments, that’s important to remember in design.”
  • Phillips: “Prefab house leveraging technology to cut costs with functional details are about value, but delivering the thing is a problem”
  • Darling: “Philly has a lot of vacant property, so there’s going to be more new construction than other dense cities, like Boston. But maybe we don’t need to rehab, maybe we can find an efficient way to knock down and rebuild the right way.”
  • Hyde: Our physical footprint is small, but our digital footprint can be large. I only own 15 things, but I have 50 domains.
  • Phillips: I’d be interested in a co-housing model that would allow you to grow and shrink the space you use, like losing that extra bedroom when your kids leave home.

Indy Hall and Postgreem Homes, the sustainably-minded development company noted for its 100k House project, will build a multi-residency unit on a currently unused lot on the 1700-block of Howard Street near Front Street in East Kensington. Planned for six independent units of 500-600 square feet, the structure will feature 2,500 square feet of common space, like the one visualized above, that will be a place for collaboration.

“This is about bringing the ideas behind coworking and continuing to introduce them to new people, in new ways and in new environments,” says Indy Hall co-founder Alex Hillman. He announced the initiative publicly with his co-founder Geoff DiMasi at Monday night’s Junto on Rethinking Shelter, a Philly Tech Week event.

Find more details here. Currently, the coalition is seeking those interested in renting, buying, investing and getting involved otherwise. If interested, get connected here.

Though units will be available for purchase in a condominium-like style, Indy Hall plans to own at least one unit for short-term rentals to feature the flow of individuals that its coworking space features.

Details are still being configured but, like other Postgreen projects, this will have a sustainable focus and Postgreen and Indy Hall will have some longer-term partnership. The initial residents will be ‘cultivated,’ says Hillman, who is one confirmed resident, though “the goal is not for us to design and build this in a bubble.”

“We want to be a part of building a broader community,” Hillman says. “We think this is a great way to do this now and more in the future.”

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