Garden Communities Names Carole Steele as its Newest Golden Resident

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Living in Springfield, N.J. Provides Big Benefits, Says 54-Year Mountain View Gardens Resident 

SPRINGFIELD, N.J., June 23, 2022Garden Communities named Carole Steele its newest “Golden Resident” during a festive gathering at Mountain View Gardens in Springfield. The program honors renters who have occupied their apartments for 50 years or more. Members of this special club, created in 2020, get more than just congratulations for their loyalty – they also get a year’s free rent. 

“Everyone was so lovely,” said Steele. “They made me feel like queen for a day.” The longtime tenant said she was overwhelmed by the generosity. Members of Garden Communities’ corporate and Mountain View Gardens’ operational teams were among the attendees at the celebration. Steele was presented with flowers and with a customized giant check during a formal ceremony, followed by refreshments.   

“I feel like I won a mini-lottery,” she said. “The whole family is so excited. I can spend the money a million different ways.” Steele added that she would probably invest it in her grandchildren’s education.  

“It is such a gratifying feeling to recognize the long-term residents who are the core of our apartment properties,” said Jonathan Goetz, director of property management. “That’s what this program is all about – saying ‘thank you’ to individuals who have planted roots and helped to create an enduring sense of community. They take as much pride in our developments as we do.” 

Steele spoke highly of Mountain View Gardens – its management, maintenance and neighbors. “This is my home, not a ‘stop-off’ place,” said the newly named Golden Resident. “I’ve had a good life, and living here certainly has been an intrinsic part of that. Everything significant that’s happened in my life happened here. I raised my children here; they graduated from Springfield schools. There’s been crying, but a ton more laughing.” 

Born in Brooklyn, the 80-year-old Golden Resident lived for a while in West Orange before moving to Springfield 54 years ago. “I was happy to be here,” she said, adding that she had seen the community from afar and always thought the apartments looked nice. “Still, I didn’t expect it to be as nice as it was.”  

A former employee of Wang Laboratories, where she worked in finance, Steele said she enjoys being in Springfield, close to lots of shopping and Newark Airport, and appreciates being able to get to Manhattan in half an hour. One of Steele’s daughters lives in Greenwich Village; the other in Westchester.  

Steele likes the fact that living in a rental apartment means she never needs to worry about shoveling snow, repairing water heaters or tending the garden.  

“Living here has allowed me to do creative things,” she said, reeling off a list of interests such as cooking, crocheting, and sewing. “I built wall units in the apartment, and a four-poster bed. This is a 3-bedroom apartment, so each girl had her own room. We also have a very large kitchen.” Her heart, she said, is owned by her twin granddaughters, 15, who stayed with her frequently until they were 10. They had their own room as well.  

“I would definitely move here again,” she said. “And I would recommend it to others.” 

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 developments 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 rental properties to serve demand and support changing lifestyle needs. 

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured from left to right are Jonathan Goetz, Carol Steele, and Carolin Azcona.  

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