It's easy to see why the residents would want to help maintain the complex's 18 tree-studded acres. The beautifully landscaped grounds feature hundreds of tulips, their striking reds and yellows a contrast to the green of the many trees and shrubs.
They're sufficiently handsome, in fact, for Tim Dean, maintenance supervisor for the complex, to brag about them. "We had one last year that was 29 inches high," he said. "This year, our biggest was 23 inches.
"They look like small trees. Our landscaper takes great pride in the grounds."
Meticulous care also shows in the upkeep of the apartments themselves: studio, one- and two-bedroom units in 19 buildings, which were completed in 1968. The complex is nestled on a hillside in a residential neighborhood. Some apartments overlook the complex's Olympic-size swimming pool, snack bar and picnic area. There are basketball and volleyball courts near the pool.
Rents range from $485 for a 400-square-foot studio to $760 for an 850- square-foot, two-bedroom unit. The rent includes window treatments, heat, hot water and a membership for the pool, which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Leases are for seven months or a year. The seven-month leases are available at a $20-a-month premium.
Each apartment building has two entrances, and laundry facilities in the basement. A few studio apartments have private entrances.
Prospective residents pay a $35 application fee and are required to provide a $99 security deposit. Pets up to 15 pounds may be kept in the apartments for a $500 security deposit.
"We want people to stay long-term," Kelly said. "One of the reasons they say they stay is the maintenance."
The higher-priced one- and two-bedroom units have a separate dining area with pass-through breakfast bar. The kitchens have been upgraded to include new cabinetry and a microwave. The bathrooms have improved lighting and other new decorative touches. All have walk-in closets, with additional storage space available for the one- and two-bedroom units in the basement.
"We've had people who have moved away come back because they were unhappy elsewhere," Dean said. "We just had four or five people do that."
Rutherford McConnell is one of the apartments' long-time residents.
"I guess the best compliment I can pay the apartments is that we're in our 23d year here," said McConnell, who has been retired for more than 25 years. ''People ask what have we've been doing for 23 years. Why didn't we buy a house? (Before retirement,) we had a large home not far away. It got to the point where we didn't want to worry about snow and upkeep.
"It's handy for us, and we have always had good neighbors," he added. ''We respect one another. We don't have to wait two weeks or two months to get things fixed. And I always mention the pool when I talk to people. It's a beautiful place for a barbecue."
The complex has been at capacity for three consecutive months, and has a waiting list of people looking for two-bedroom units. According to Kelly, there is a mix of residents from young singles to retirees.
Another draw is the convenience, Kelly said. There are a pizza parlor, restaurant and hair salon on the premises. A supermarket is less than a mile away, and two major shopping malls are within a 15-minute drive. Downtown West Chester, with a variety of shops, banking facilities and restaurants, is a six-minute drive.
Route 3 provides easy access to Route 202 and the Blue Route. Center City Philadelphia is a 50-minute drive, and downtown Wilmington is 35 minutes away.
"We're certainly close to a lot of things," Kelly said. "But residents can also stay home and use their hibachi on their patio or balcony. That's OK here."
Name: Waterview Apartments.
Owners: Roseland Management Co., West Orange, N.J.
Number of units: 203.
Rental range: Studios, $485 to $495; one-bedrooms, $680 to $725; two- bedrooms, $715 to $760.
Amenities: Private balconies or patios; volleyball and basketball courts; swimming pool with picnic area; garden area for tenants. Hot-water baseboard heat with individual controls for each apartment.
Shopping: Pizza parlor, hair salon and restaurant on premises. Marketplace Shopping Center with supermarket is a two-minute drive away. Granite Run Mall and Exton Square Mall are a 15-minute drive.
Transportation: SEPTA bus route 101 connecting West Chester with 69th Street Terminal has a stop in front of the apartment complex. The Whitford and Exton stations on SEPTA's R3 commuter rail line are within a 15-minute drive.
Directions: From the intersection of Routes 202 and 3, take Route 3 east two miles to Waterview Road. Turn left on Waterview. Make immediate left into apartment complex.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.