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50-Year Renters, Long-time Employees Contribute to Sense of Home
SHORT HILLS, N.J. (March 13, 2023) – In an era when people always seem to be on the move – from home to home and job to job – what entices them to put down roots for the long term? For Short Hills-based Garden Communities – a real estate owner, builder and operator with more than 65 years of history in the multifamily niche – it comes down to a sense of “home.”
And that’s worth celebrating.
Garden Communities recently welcomed the 12th member of its Golden Resident Club, a program established in 2020 to honor residents who have occupied their apartments for at least 50 years. Its members get more than just congratulations for their loyalty – they also get a year’s free rent. Three more members are set to join the ranks this year.
“The Golden Resident Club is extremely meaningful to Garden Communities,” said Maria Friscia, who supervises the program. “As a family-owned business, we are defined by our relationships with our team members and residents; creating and sustaining a meaningful legacy is important to us. Our golden residents are ‘institutions’ in their own right at our communities.”
Though aligned with Garden Communities’ mission and values, the Golden Resident Club did not begin as a corporate initiative. Rather, it stemmed from an observation made by a member of the firm’s property management team – who noticed a resident was about to sign her 50th lease. “He asked if there was something we could do to celebrate this special milestone,” Friscia said. “That is the genesis of how The Golden Resident Club was born.”
A Chosen Family
“I knew I had found my forever home,” said Diana Lacey, a golden resident at Westmount Village in Woodland Park, in describing her wondrous community while visiting a friend’s apartment there. The former publicist and public relations consultant noted the community’s property management employees have made it an easy choice for her to remain at her Passaic County apartment for five decades. “It’s a privilege to live here.”
“We strive to cultivate a sense of community at all of our multifamily developments,” said Jonathan Goetz, Garden Communities’ director of property management. “Those golden residents whom we have honored tell us that our property management and maintenance team always go the extra mile, often stopping by to check in or to just say hello. These residents have raised families at our properties and built lasting relationships with their neighbors as well as our employees, many of whom have been part of the Garden Communities’ team for decades.”
In fact, Garden Communities boasts 84 employees who have been with the company for more than 25 years.
According to Friscia, this loyalty and longevity reflects the shared value placed on belonging and well-being, and the distinctive security that comes with time and trust. “Garden Communities residents and employees, alike, have found more than just a place to live or work – they have found a place to call home,” she said.
In addition to its many long-time communities, Garden Communities’ robust project pipeline will introduce dozens of new developments in the tri-state area over the next several years. With vertically integrated operations providing full in-house support – including site acquisition, leasing and property management from infancy to stabilization – Garden Communities’ continual, thoughtful evolution involves providing fresh, next-generation inventory while constantly improving existing rental properties to serve demand and support changing lifestyle needs.
PHOTO CAPTION: Golden Resident ceremony for Diana Lacey of Westmount Village in Woodland Park
About Garden Communities
820 Morris Turnpike
Short Hills, NJ 07078