The Cottages at Filmore

A New Kind of Neighborhood

In Buzz, February 2020 by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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There’s a lot that goes into making a neighborhood a neighborhood: The houses and the people that live in them, of course, but also, the opportunities neighbors have to connect with one another. At The Cottages at Filmore, nestled between Five Points and Glenwood South, you’ll find three—soon to be seven—cottages clustered around a shared community courtyard and garden. 

Good Dirt, a local sustainable gardening supply company, designed the space for residents to relax, hang out together and grow produce to swap and share. Rich Realty Group selected Good Dirt owners Al and Suzy Newsom to create the gathering area to round out the second phase of what the realty group describes as a “pocket neighborhood,” defined by a shared green space. 

“Good Dirt was like our knight in shining armor,” says Charlotte Quinn, the co-broker in charge of the property. “We wanted a space that everybody could use and enjoy and feel like it’s their own but also shared with one another. They made this whole project come together.” 

Before the Newsoms took over, the space consisted of yellowing grass and a line of holly trees concealing a water retention filtration system. 

“Frankly, it was an eyesore,” says Al.

Rich Realty Group wanted the neighborhood to embrace the outdoor area so, to rejuvenate the space, the Newsoms added in a courtyard using gravel sourced from Chapel Hill, with a mobile fireplace and chairs and boulders for sitting, plus stone steps leading up to a terrace that houses seven raised garden containers—one for each cottage. 

The Newsoms replaced the hollies with native plants, wildflowers and pollinators that will provide year-round color and attract additional wildlife, including birds and rabbits, while showcasing the retention system which will fill with water once all of the cottages are complete. 

“We wanted to beautify instead of hide the space and make it into a point of interest [for the residents],” explains Al. 

In addition, each of the cottage’s porches was adorned with container gardens of their own using Good Dirt’s chemical- and pesticide-free products. Al and Suzy hope that the central courtyard and garden will create a tight-knit community within The Cottages at Filmore, as well as the rest of the neighborhood. 

“The biggest reward is getting realtors excited,” says Suzy. “We thrive on collaboration.”

For more information or to tour the cottages, visit

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