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an eco-conscious cohousing complex

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Photo credit: John Bailly


The Co-op at Chicken Key is an eco-conscious cohousing complex founded in 2030. The Curator turned Director of the Deering Estate, proposed a plan to Miami-Dade County, who ran and continues to run the facility and the State of Florida that owns the land. After much effort, much of the property including the historic buildings at the Deering Estate were designated for a residential cohousing complex.


The Co-op at Chicken Key consists of three historic buildings partially or completely converted into housing: the Richmond Cottage, the Carriage House and the third floor of the Stone House. The museum is still maintained in the Stone House with the basement, first floor and second floor open to the public. 



The island of Chicken Key, once located approx. one mile offshore, was formed by the deposition of quartz and limestone sands by ocean currents. An 1899 survey by S. H. Richmond recorded a maximum elevation of three feet above sea level and historically, the island was characterized by a sand beach and low dunes. Dredge deposits in the 1940s increased elevations from 3 to 10 feet on most of the island, destroying the dunes. In 1996-1997, the County restored Chicken Key, removing dredged materials, connecting the mangrove forest and dune system, and re-creating the island’s original topography. In present-day 2050, the island is completely submerged under water.

The Co-op at Chicken Key is a fictional cohousing complex imagined in a future Miami circa 2050 where individuals have come together in community to thrive. It is on the property where The Deering Estate museum-park is situated and operated by Miami-Dade County and owned by the State of Florida. In addition to being the historic home of Charles Deering, this land also served as the home to many indigenous communities including the Tequestas and Paleo-Indians.


The Co-op at Chicken Key is the set for Prelude to 2100, conceived and curated by Susan Caraballo and created in collaboration with over 30 multi-disciplinary artists. The theatrical component, Prelude to 2100: OPEN HOUSE, was written by Juan C. Sánchez and directed by Jennifer de Castroverde. The actors are costumed in the art fashion line Suiting Up for the Future designed by Kim Yantis & Lucinda Linderman. For the full program, visit

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Photo credit: John Bailly



  • high elevation on Miami Rock Ridge

  • waterfront property

  • ​canoes & kayaks for use

  • access to 444 acres of natural areas

  • historic bedrooms

  • access to historic wine cellar

  • shared kitchen area

  • community gardens

  • year-long access to museum


Photo credit: John Bailly




b. Miami, FL, USA (1992)


Anita co-founded The Co-op at Chicken Key with her sister Rose who was the Director of the Deering Estate. She has become the de-facto leader of the complex. She has a deep desire to disappear, to break away.


Performed by Shirley Bryant


b. Flint, MI, USA (2024)


Anthony, known as Tony, is a young attorney who is engaged to Maggie. He is passionate about defending the ones most affected by climate change. He wants to be part of the solution.



Performed by Dayron Leon


b. Banda Aceh, Indonesia (1996)

Buana, the Amazing Mr. Bubble Pops, is the resident fashion designer, dancer and 

yoga instructor. Adopted into an American family, Buana left the NY dance scene to come to Miami.


Performed by Dito Sudito


b. Florence, Italy (1982)


Born to American parents in Italy, Elizabeth lived in Calgary where she experienced an extreme blizzard. She is the resident therapist and focuses on climate grief in her psychology practice. 



Performed by Laurie Tanner


b. St. Elizabeth, Jamaica (2001)


One of the newer residents in the Co-op, Ini moved to Miami after her family lost almost everything with Hurricane Dean. She is the resident herbalist and nutritionist and works closely with Lena.


Performed by Amoye Dixon


b. Belle Glade, FL, USA (2004)

Jimmy is a survivalist from Central Florida who had first-hand experience with sugar cane burns. He lives on the property in a camper that he has outfitted himself in the natural areas. 

Performed by Rio Chavarro


b. Miami, FL, USA (2018)


Julian, relatively new to the Co-op, is the cafe operator. He followed in his father’s footsteps running the successful family restaurant in Key Biscayne, but lost it when the sea took it over.




Performed by Sergio Tamayo


b. Denton, TX, USA (1974)


In Miami since the late 1990s, Kerry had a residency at the Deering Estate and never left. She runs the Whatits Emporium & Library of Things and helps people understand that some things never age like her.

Performed by Kerry Phillips


b. Alexandria, Egypt (2017)

Layla is the Deering Estate Stone House Museum’s Curator. Layla is drawn to the Co-op’s lifestyle, but doesn’t live on-site.  She is interested in moving in, but it needs to be at the right time and for the right reasons.


Performed by Navene Shata


b. Kodiak Island, Alaska (2021)

Lena is the resident chef and she is in charge of the co-op’s food source. Her focus is regenerative farming and biodiversity. Nature moves her and she has a personal relationship to the land and ecology.

Performed by Alena Romanov


b. Caracas, Venezuela (2022)

She came from a wealthy Venezuelan family that in essence lived in a castle while the city around them burned. After going to the Peace Corps in Malawi, she found herself feeling guilty over America’s carbon-intensive way of life.

Performed by Dayana Morales


b. London, England (1986)

Robert came to Miami with much enthusiasm to develop a Transition Town. Soon after his arrival, he began to experience corruption and started getting bitter. He witnessed great ideas and strategies, and then attempts, and then failures.

Performed by Tim Wallington

Visit one of our OPEN HOUSE events February 3-6 !



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Photos courtesy of Deering Estate/Miami-Dade County

The Deering Estate Stone House Museum preserves the 1920s era Miami estate of Charles Deering, Chicago industrialist, early preservationist, environmentalist, art collector, philanthropist and first chairman of the International Harvester Company. Nestled along the coast in South Dade, the Deering Estate is a cultural asset and historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As a 21st Century museum destination for tourists and local residents, a variety of signature events, programs, tours and classes are offered throughout the year.


In 2030, the Estate was partially converted into a cohousing complex in response to the housing crisis that followed the devastating Hurricane Marco of 2026. The Stone House remains as a museum while the Richmond Cottage exclusively houses the residents.


To find out more about the Deering Estate, please visit