If there’s one thing we grew a greater appreciation for after spending so much time at home, it’s the importance of connection and community. We are profoundly social creatures, and the need for community is wired into our DNA. Even with all of the ways social media keeps us connected digitally, many lack a sense of community and belonging offline—with friends, family, and even neighbors. Architect Ross Chapin set out to change that with a new type of housing solution in the Pacific Northwest that would foster connection, known as Pocket Neighborhoods.
“There is an epidemic of loneliness in Western culture, due in part to the isolation from living in environments that emphasize privacy and independence over connection. Pocket neighborhoods offer an antidote for people wanting to live in a place where relations among neighbors take place easily in the course of daily life.”
— Ross Chapin
What is a pocket neighborhood?
Pocket neighborhoods are small clusters of detached cottage-style homes built around a shared common area, encouraging neighbors to socialize and get to know one another. Rather than townhomes or condos, pocket neighborhood homes offer the privacy of a single-family residence. Yet, they are generally designed with a smaller footprint than conventional neighborhood developments—both in the number of homes and square footage. For example, the new TJH cottage pocket neighborhoods are designed to foster a closer-knit community and include fewer than a dozen homes in each development. It’s a place where neighbors can become friends.
One of the key elements of our cottage pocket neighborhoods is the shared outdoor space that the homes are centered around. This shared common area is designed intentionally to create a sense of security and identity, making each pocket neighborhood feel like it’s own small community. It’s a central place for kids to play outside and parents can feel at ease without the worry of busy streets or foot traffic.
“Our region’s extraordinary job growth is creating opportunity for many, but our neighborhoods are feeling the pressure of skyrocketing prices. If you own a home, that is a big win. But for those just exploring home ownership, downsizing or relocating to the area, it can be daunting. Our pocket communities help solve this shortage. Featuring smaller, single-family homes that live large and have yards, these centrally-located communities provide a place to call home and connect with new friends and neighbors.”
— Mark Huppert, President of Thomas James Homes Pacific Northwest Division
Why are pocket neighborhoods important?
Cottage pocket neighborhoods help meet the needs of communities that want to address housing demands and use land efficiently without losing the feel of a single-family community. Additionally, there’s a growing shift toward smaller footprint homes that reduce energy use, increase savings, and offer a more sustainable home solution—especially in desirable metropolitan areas that bring residents closer to local amenities and the places they love.
In a setting designed to encourage daily interactions and friendships among neighbors, living in a pocket neighborhood can provide a greater sense of belonging, connection and support. Nearby neighbors are the ones most available to respond to daily needs, whether it’s house-sitting while you’re away or a reason to fire up the grill for a weekend bbq. These encounters strengthen webs of support and friendship, which are the basis for healthy, livable communities.
Could a TJH cottage-style home be for you?
This style of community-centric living can be an ideal home solution for many—from empty nesters and grandparents, to single households, young families, and first-time buyers. And for those seeking a stronger sense of community, pocket neighborhoods hit the target. Is it right for you? Check out our TJH cottage pocket neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest. With planned builds in the most sought-after neighborhoods of the Greater Seattle Area, our cottage-style homes provide the benefits of community, new construction, and bring you closer to the best places to dine, shop, and explore.
When you live in one of our pocket communities, you’ll notice every detail of your home and the development was carefully thought through to meet the needs of today’s homebuyers. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect:
- Detached single-family homes
- Located near city-centers and amenities
- Thoughtful form and functionality
- Natural light-filled two-story plans
- Open-concept layout on the main level
- Indoor/outdoor living and elevated finishes
- Private patios overlooking the communal green
Interested in exploring our local pocket neighborhood listings?