Fifth Street Commons


Fifth Street Commons is a multi-generational, intentional community of 16 households located near the center of Langley on Whidbey Island, WA. It was created through a local initiative to transform an existing apartment complex into an affordable ownership community of socially engaged residents.

The community is comprised of one- and two-bedroom units in four residential buildings with a centrally located Common House. This shared structure includes the community living room, dining room, kitchen, guestroom, bathroom, laundry, workshop and storage. It achieves net-positive energy contribution through super-insulation, energy-efficient appliances, and a photovoltaic solar array on the roof.

A rain garden filters storm water runoff from the parking lot and roofs, percolating as much as possible into the ground and slowly metering overflow downstream. Edible landscaping and gardens are tended by the residents, providing a significant contribution to daily food needs while fostering bonds among neighbors. Residents currently range in age from 3 to 73, including single-parent households, singles, families, and empty-nester singles and couples.

In a video, architects Ross Chapin and JR Fulton tell the story of transforming an existing 16-unit apartment complex into an intentional community that is multi-generational, mixed income, ecologically responsive and socially engaging.

For more information, visit their website.