[Virginia Daffron’s] article on the Shiloh neighborhood [“At Home in Shiloh: Venerable Community Fights Encroachment,” Dec. 2, Xpress] was well-balanced and well-written, but I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to correct one assertion and to make the case that the Appeldoorn development is a huge benefit for the area.
[She] quotes an individual as stating that there are nearly 500 units in the complex. In fact, the entire development consists of seven three-story buildings of 24 units each, comprising a total of 168 units, primarily two-bedroom, two-bath condos with some one-bedroom and three-bedroom units also in the buildings.
As far as the impact on the area is concerned, Appeldoorn is low-cost housing. The costs of a unit are consistent with and below the costs of houses in that section of Shiloh. The condo fees are $133 per month, which include water, sewer and garbage services. Adding $30 per month for insurance and $80 per month for taxes means that residents have an occupancy cost of $243 per month before principal and interest on a mortgage, with all exterior maintenance taken care of by the fees.
The complex is well-maintained, it looks new, and because it requires owner occupancy, the residents provide stability to the area. There are no transient occupants. This is not a luxury condo development — no pool, no tennis courts, no community center. It is good, basic housing.
The ownership makeup of Appeldoorn is culturally and racially diverse. Many of the owners are young couples, and many are single or married retirees. I see the addition of multifamily housing to an area that is primarily single-family housing as a plus. The development is set back from the road and has excellent landscaping, which hides the buildings.
I purchased a unit for my son several years ago. He is totally disabled but capable of living alone, and I consider it a safe, secure and highly desirable environment for him. Each unit has a sprinkler system for fire prevention. The area is well-lit.
Thank you for reading this, and I do hope that sometime in the future, [Daffron] will write about Appeldoorn extensively, and if so, I am certain [she] will provide an objective and comprehensive view of the development.
— Sidney R. Finkel
Editor’s note: Reporter Virginia Daffron responds: “I appreciate Mr. Finkel’s kind words about our article on the Shiloh community, and I also appreciate the information he provides about the Grove at Appeldoorn condominiums. After receiving Mr. Finkel’s letter, I spoke with a property manager for the complex at Baldwin Real Estate. She confirmed that the development consists of 168 units within seven three-story buildings. She also said that all units must be owner-occupied, a requirement her company diligently enforces.
We have noted this information about the Appeldoorn complex in an editor’s note at the end of the online article.”