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By ALAN J. ORTBALS

p10 pocket neighborhoodEighteen homes, some already built and occupied, are planned for the Brookshire Hamlet development in Edwardsville.    Two new residential developments are underway in Edwardsville that are unique to Southwestern Illinois.
    Developed by Infinity Land Group, Brookshire Hamlet and @Cloverdale follow the “pocket neighborhood” model made popular in the Northeast.
    Pocket neighborhoods are small, residential developments designed to create a sense of community.
    “I read about them being developed on the East Coast,” said Mike Rathgeb, co-owner of Infinity Land Group and president of Spencer Homes, which is doing the construction. “And then what really convinced me that it could work in our community was seeing an accessible pocket neighborhood in Carmel, Ind. I was convinced that a pocket neighborhood development offering what I refer to as ‘simplified living’ neighborhood amenities like lawn care, landscaping, etc. would be a good fit for a community like ours.”
    Brookshire Hamlet is located at the corner of Gerber and Goshen Roads. @Cloverdale is just off Governor’s Parkway at the intersection of Esic Drive and Cloverdale. Both will consist of detached, single family homes with lawn care, snow removal, etc., provided by a contractor hired by and paid by the homeowners association. But, Rathgeb says, the concept is more than just shared maintenance.
    “It incorporates not only what’s happening within the neighborhood but also access beyond the neighborhood that provides walkability and connectivity to the community,” Rathgeb said.  
    Both developments are located near shops, restaurants, schools and the YMCA. @Cloverdale is also located on the Nickle Plate Trail of the Madison County Transit bike trail system. The developments, however, have different price points and are targeted at different demographics.
    Rathgeb said that Brookshire Hamlet is aimed at the empty nesters. With just 18 building sites, the single story homes are designed for low maintenance with brick and stone exteriors and concrete patios or wood composite decks. Prices start in the high $300,000s and reach into the low $600,000s. They are designed for easy accessibility regardless of age or ability. Six of the 18 sites have been sold and some homes have been completed and occupied.
    Work on @Cloverdale has just begun with earth moving and the installation of infrastructure and utilities. Priced in the $300,000s, Rathgeb said he thinks the 42-home development will really be attractive to young families.
    “We believe the @Cloverdale customer will be millennials looking for a nice home in a community that is centrally located, accessible to shops, restaurants, the bike trail, etc.” Rathgeb said. “It’s adjacent to the Leclaire Christian Church, which has a fabulous day care.  So, if they want to be at the heart of the community, have that walkability factor and they’re looking for some of these simplified living aspects with regard to the lawn care, landscaping, etc. @Cloverdale is the perfect place for them.”
    In fact, said Rathgeb, the name was chosen with millennials in mind.    
    “It’s a play on what you see quite often on social media these days,” Rathgeb said, “but the @ Cloverdale also infers that if you’re at Cloverdale you’re close to everything; you’re at the heart of our community. If you’re at Cloverdale, you’re at the trail, you’re at the church, at the restaurant, at the shops, things of that nature.”  
    But Rathgeb is not limiting @Cloverdale to millennials alone. He said he thinks the pocket neighborhood could be attractive to all ages.
    “We’re not only retaining some folks in this marketplace with this product,” Rathgeb said. “We think we’ll actually attract people into the community from some of the surrounding areas. This will be attractive to baby boomers, for example, who want to move close to the grandkids. This concept will work well for them.”