Pocket neighborhoods are clustered groups of neighboring houses or apartments gathered around a shared open space — a garden courtyard, a pedestrian street, a series of joined backyards, or a reclaimed alley — all of which have a clear sense of territory and shared stewardship. They can be in urban, suburban or rural areas. These are settings where nearby neighbors can easily know one another, where empty nesters and single householders with far-flung families can find friendship or a helping hand nearby, and where children can have shirttail aunties and uncles just beyond their front gate.
Many of you folks planning on retiring or working on your retirement plan may wish you could move back in time to your old neighborhood. You know; that
neighborhood where there were shared backyard barbecues, badminton courts, and a game a stick ball. Pocket neighborhoods are being designed to rekindle the sharing and caring neighborhoods of old. The neighborhood where you have shared space, common interests, and a sense of community. This is where I want to retire to. The city and town are not as important as the neighborhood and the fact that I know who lives all around me; and more importantly, then know ME.
I first read Ross Chapins Book: Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small Scale Community in a Large Scale World when I was began researching co-housing years ago. I love the concept. I have trouble describing pocket neigborhood and what they are into what many call an “elevator speech” ( short enough to tell in a short elevator ride. Re-read the quote I pasted above from Chapin.
According to Chapman, The sense of community does not mean the last of privacy:
“While there are many examples and kinds of pocket neighborhoods, privacy is an essential ingredient that allows residents to have a positive experience of community. In a classic cottage courtyard community, there are several increasingly private ‘layers of personal space’ between the shared commons and the front door: next to the sidewalk is a border of perennial plantings and a low fence with a swinging gate; then the private front yard; the frame of the covered porch with a low railing and flower boxes; and the porch itself, which is large enough to be an outdoor room. Within the cottages, the layering continues with active spaces oriented toward the commons and private spaces further back and above.
To ensure privacy between neighbors, the cottages ‘nest’ together: the ‘open’ side of one house faces the ‘closed’ side of the next. You could say the houses are spooning! The open side has large windows facing its side yard (which extends to the face of neighboring house), while the closed side has high windows and skylights. The result is that neighbors do not peer into one another’s world”
Many of you know that I have been in real estate now for the past 15 years. At Market America Development we are looking for land to build a pocket neighborhood.
Here are some of the criteria we are considering:
- 12 -15 homes on 2 to 3 acres.
- Ownership will be fee simple single family design
- All homes face a common shared space.
- There will be a common shared amenities – modest, but fully equipped, designed around the theme of the pocket.
- Access by car is from the rear
- The trip from the car to the house is short but also will be conducive to meeting and greeting.
- The home swill be smaller, but luxurious and have all the amenities that retirees have grown to expect. This will accomplished with smart, efficient design.
- The home design will grow with the residents. this mean s wide doorways, one story homes with easy access, and technology will be built in.
- All home will be energy efficient,
- There will be private yards as well, for dogs and gardens
- Porches and vista will be both private and social
- There will be concierge offered to all residents – for everything from booking restaurants to getting hings done in the home.
- Home maintenance will be an integral part of the neighborhood
- Location near shopping, medical and entertainment as well as mass transportation is important.
Our target client is the pre retiree, or those putting their retirement plan together, but it will not be exclusive only for retirement We encourage all ages and families.
The price point will vary by location, but our target for the Fort Myers area will be under $400,000.
Interested in learning more? Leave a comment or send me an email to Gfous@retirementnext.com