House Lust: A Brand New Townhouse in E.G.’s Castle Street Cottages

Rhode Island's first "pocket neighborhood" is sited a stone's throw from Greenwich Cove and downtown's best restaurants and shops.

There’s something to be said for the neighborliness of midcentury America. Kids could roam without a hovering parent; you could count on your better-pantried neighbor for a cup of sugar; every summer weekend was filled with block parties and backyard bonfires.

It’s something we yearn for — that sense of belonging, stability and reliability — but rarely get to experience in twenty-first-century American communities. Like the chilly character in Robert Frost’s “Mending Fences,” we say, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

But Jerry Zarrella Jr. and Chris Santilli, the two thirty-somethings helming East Greenwich Cove Builders LLC, wanted an alternative. For inspiration, the pair looked to Washington State architect, Ross Chapin, who coined the term “pocket neighborhood,” a community built on a small plot of land with some shared amenities. East Greenwich Cove Builders teamed up with Union Studio Architecture and interior designer Zarrella Developer Corp. to create Castle Street Cottages, the state’s first pocket neighborhood.

Every exterior aspect of their passion project — a nine-unit development named 2019’s Community of the Year in the National Association of Home Builders’ Best in American Living Awards — inspires neighborliness, from the communal summer kitchen to the “fire urn” with Adirondack chair seating.

And buyers are taking notice: According to East Greenwich Cove Builders, six of the nine townhouses are currently under contract. (A spokesperson for the project says buyers include a young couple relocating to the area to work in Boston; a young couple from Providence; a single woman working in corporate America; an active adult downsizing to spend half the year here, half in Florida; and another active adult relocating from New York City.) The units are set to close on the same date so all members of the community can move in around the same time.

But three units are still available: two affordably priced townhouses (unit one for $234,000 and unit nine for $269,000) and the luxe unit five, with three beds and two and a half baths that’s on the market for $549,000.

Can you guess which one we wanted to see? Here’s your House Lust:

For information on Castle Street Cottages, visit castlestreetcottages.com. To schedule a tour of unit 5, contact Matthew St. Ours with RE/MAX Professionals at 401-230-0180.

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