Press Release – May 2013

Open House: Ithaca’s First Pocket Neighborhood

More than 150 people toured The Aurora Pocket Neighborhood on Saturday, April 27. “People loved
the design and finish details, the in-town location and easy walk-ability, and the ultra-low operating and
maintenance costs,” said Cosentini. “It was exciting and inspiring for me and the entire project team to
hear what people like about the concept and the project,” she said.

The Aurora Pocket Neighborhood is the first Pocket Neighborhood Circle project in Ithaca. The new
development has transformed the vacant lot between between 519 and 523 North Aurora Street
into three new state-of-the-art homes, clustered around an existing home owned by developer Sue
Cosentini. The new homes utilize solar power for water and space heating and have an airtight, super-
insulated building envelope to reduce energy costs. APN’s four homes share common outdoor social
space and gardens.

Over 40 people expressed interest in the next New Earth Living project, which will feature a large
vegetable garden, guest rooms, a workshop, and a common house. Developer Sue Cosentini shared this
update on her next project:

“We have a site and will be announcing the location, site plan, and home designs soon.
Currently, we are directing interested folks to our website at, where
they can provide information about the kind of home they would like; Number of bedrooms,
baths etc. The feedback will give us an idea of what people are looking for so we can lay the site
out accordingly.

Once we have conferred with the neighbors and received information from everyone interested,
we’ll put together a site plan and house designs and send those out to everyone that has
expressed interest. After that we will have an informational evening for people to meet and
discuss the project.”

We will be showing the homes AGAIN on this Saturday May 4th 12-5
For more information contact Sue Cosentini at 607-277-2700.

More About Tompkin’s County’s Climate Showcase Communities

In April 2011 the Tompkins County Planning Department and EcoVillage at Ithaca received an EPA
Climate Showcase Communities grant to document how to develop residential communities that work
for both people and the planet. Of the 50 grants awarded nationwide, the Tompkins County proposal is
the only project that focuses on residential smart growth.

The Welcome Home Project showcases three innovative neighborhoods being developed in our
local community: the TREE neighborhood at EcoVillage at Ithaca, the Aurora Pocket Neighborhood in
downtown Ithaca, and Cayuga Townhomes, a planned development on 26 acres of county-owned land
north of Cayuga Medical Center.

Using a combination of renewable energy capacity and green building technologies, the homes in these
communities are designed to reduce energy consumption dramatically below the energy usage of
conventional homes. Per square foot, these homes are no more expensive than conventional housing


Homes in these three communities are smaller than the U.S. average and clustered together to allow
for easier social interactions and to ensure that as much of the surrounding land as possible is left
undeveloped. Neighborhoods are laid out in such a way as to promote residents connection with
nature and to provide opportunities for gardening and food production. The communities are inter-
generational and encourage aging in place, as well as provide a safe haven for raising children.

Visit the Welcome Home website,, to learn more about local
neighborhoods that are serving as models of sustainable development for our region, our nation,
and our neighbors around the globe. Through thoughtful housing and neighborhood design, these
climate showcase communities are demonstrating how America’s homes can become green, healthy,
comfortable, and sustainable, while still remaining affordable.