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West Orange resident marks 50 years and going strong at West Mill Gardens
WEST ORANGE, N.J., June 8, 2022 — Imagine loving where you live and being rewarded for it. Lynn Kay, a resident of West Mill Gardens in West Orange, knows exactly how that feels. When Garden Communities established its Golden Residents Club in 2020 to show appreciation to their most loyal residents, it was people like Kay they had in mind.
Given the choice, Kay, who has rented the same West Orange apartment for 52 years, wouldn’t live anywhere else. Recognizing that such longtime residents are the backbones of their communities, the developer held a Golden Resident event for Kay, presenting her with one year of free rent. Members of the Garden Communities corporate and West Mill Gardens operational teams were among the attendees at the celebration, which included a formal ceremony and refreshments.
“Everything was lovely,” Kay said. “Free rent for a year – I can’t believe it.” With her daughter, son and daughter-in-law in attendance as well as some of her closest friends, Kay was presented with flowers and a customized giant check declaring her status as a Golden Resident. It now sits in her living room.
Heather Smith, property manager, also has a long-time history with West Mill Gardens, having joined the team nearly two decades ago. “Our on-site staff and our residents really care about this community and our West Mill Gardens ‘family’ – so many of us have been here for years,” she said. “Lynn is a wonderful person and a pleasure to know. We had so much fun celebrating her.”
A Good Place to Call Home
Kay’s rental residence, itself, has been a source of comfort and pride, and – with a corner apartment and a garage – “it’s like having my own house, and I just love it,” she said, adding that she also likes the way the community looks. “The landscaping is so pretty, and they keep it clean. I really appreciate that.”
Over the past 50 years, Kay has managed to keep her apartment looking the way she likes it. It is painted regularly – though she tweaks the colors occasionally – and she recently got a new kitchen and bathroom. “Some people say I have the nicest apartment,” she said.
Kay’s warmest memories of the time spent in the house are of raising a family with her late husband, Morris. As children, daughter Randi, who now lives in Holmdel, N.J., and son Joseph – born 11 years later – fit conveniently into the large bedroom where a crib and bed could be easily housed. Joseph, who now lives five minutes away from his mother with his wife, 13-year-old twins and 17-year-old daughter, “wouldn’t have wanted me to move; I used to babysit,” she recalled with a smile.
Staying in one place for so long has proven to be a blessing for Kay, who lost Morris 15 years ago. Not only was she surrounded by supportive neighbors, but she notes that the West Mill Gardens management team was especially helpful during that difficult time. Through five decades Garden Communities has not, she said, lost its personal touch (though she remembers when mailmen went to each home individually rather than placing mail in a central location). “When I call them, someone comes right away,” said the Golden Resident.
Kay believes that Garden Communities, established in 1954, lives up to its commitment to offering quality apartments and responsive service, also noting that West Mill Gardens is in a perfect location, centrally located to shopping, restaurants, and New York City. It would appear to be a match made in heaven. She plans to stay, and Garden Communities is delighted to keep meeting her needs.
Short Hills-based Garden Communities is a leading New Jersey-based real estate owner, builder, and operator in the multifamily niche. In addition to its many long-time communities, the firm’s robust project pipeline will introduce dozens of new communities in the tri-state area over the next several years. With vertically integrated operations providing full in-house support from site acquisition, to leasing and property management from infancy to stabilization, Garden Communities’ continual, thoughtful evolution involves providing fresh, next-generation inventory while constantly improving existing communities to serve demand and support changing lifestyle needs.
PHOTO CAPTION: Garden Communities’ Jonathan Goetz, director of property management, presented Lynn Kay (center) with her Golden Resident check, surrounded by family, friends and members of the West Mill Gardens team, including Heather Smith (third from right).
About Garden Communities
820 Morris Turnpike
Short Hills, NJ 07078