Central Park At Whisman Station
agnes_l • Resident • 2005 - 2006 Recommended
My husband and I lived at Central Park for 20 months, ending in Dec. 2006. Overall, I was happy with the place, but I'll go into the pros and cons and neutrals.<br><br>NEUTRAL ISSUES<br><br><br>My husband and I lived in one of the townhouse units because we were afraid of the noise transfer from upstairs neighbors. If the floors between the flat units are like the floor in the townhouse, it was a great decision, since the upstairs floor creaked a lot and you could hear anyone moving around upstairs. Of course, in a townhouse it was just me or my husband moving around so it didn't bother us. As for noise transfer between our neighbors on either side, we could very occasionally hear their TV or stereo, but this was rare (maybe once a month at most). We had considerate neighbors, so it could be worse if you had a party kid on the other side of you.<br><br>Parking was fine. Each apartment comes with one reserved carport space, and we only had one car, so it worked out just great for us. There are also bicycle racks. (See below under "con" for safety issues.)<br><br>This is one of the few places I found in Mountain View that even had air conditioning. The AC unit was downstairs, and it worked great...downstairs. Obviously, heat rises, so the AC never made it upstairs, and the upper floor was sweltering in the summer. It was often hotter inside than outside, even with the windows wide open and multiple fans blowing.<br><br>We had to pay a hefty deposit ($900) for security deposit pet deposit. In the end, we got back what I felt to be a reasonable and fair amount. The cats tore up one bit of carpet that needed replacing, and there were some spots to cover up with new paint. They also told us that they always hire someone to clean the apartment after move-out, so we didn't bother to take care of every single little detail because we knew we'd be charged something anyway. It cost us an extra $50 out of the deposit, but it was worth the time we saved during moving. Your final water/garbage bill comes out of the deposit, too, but that's something you'd have to pay regardless.<br><br>The rent started out really low for what we were getting (considering this is the Bay Area). We negotiated down to $1650/month, and we also got a move-in special that we spread out over the course of the first year, so our rent check every month was $1478. After the first year's lease was up, they raised the rent to (I think) $1725. We went in and negotiated to $1680 for an 8-month lease (which ended at the same time we moved to another state). While this was only an increase of $30 for the actual rent, since we no longer had the move-in special discount, it cost us $200 more per month. So don't count on the move-in special to make this affordable in the long term--and remember to try to negotiate the rent. They can usually come down a little.<br><br>PRO<br><br>I have three cats, and it's tough to find a place that allows more than two, so we were pretty happy to find that Central Park was OK with it. They allow dogs, too.<br><br>I felt totally safe walking around at night by myself. Property safetey, however, was an issue (see under "con").<br><br>The office staff will hold packages for you, so they aren't left outside your door for someone to steal. Very nice.<br><br>The grounds are clean and well maintained. (See also a point on this under "con.")<br><br>The office and maintenance staff were always polite to me. Maintenance was done quickly and professionally. The maintenance staff even had little booties they put over their shoes when they came into your apartment so the carpet stayed clean!<br><br>The location is great. You're right next to highways 85, 237, and 101, plus the Central Expressway. You can hop on 85 or 237 to get to El Camino Real in just five minutes. Also, the Steven's Creek Trail is right down the road, and my husband commuted to work everyday by bike.<br><br>CON<br><br><br>There are security patrols that drive by occasionally, but that didn't prevent multiple thefts. Our car's window was broken and our stereo was stolen once. After that, we always removed the faceplate from the stereo. Our bicycles were also targets on several occasions. My seat was stolen twice. My bell, headlight, and tailight were also stolen, as were my husband's. So it might be a good idea to store your bicycle on your deck or patio, or lock your seat to the frame and purchase removable lights.<br><br>The laundry facilities are poor. There are two laundry rooms. The room closest to my apartment was still a hefty walk while carrying heavy laundry bags, and then there were only eight washers (16 dryers). The laundry room was typically busy, so if you have multiple loads to wash, you might have to do, say, two at time and just keep walking back and forth between your apartment each time you need to put on a new load. Laundry was stolen from someone else I know twice, and my basket was stolen once--something that never happened to me at commercial laundromats. (And there is a commercial laundry right up the road at Whisman and Middlefield.)<br><br>The laundry room is also REALLY hot, particularly in the summer. There's an AC unit in there, but it never works. Even if you open the windows in there, it's broiling hot and you'll end up sweaty and gross in just a few minutes.<br><br>While the grounds are clean and well maintained, they are kept this way through excessive mowing and (especially) leaf-blowing. The mowers and blowers are loud and polluting, and the blowers blow stuff through your screens if the windows are open. I think that the place could look just as nice with less frequent grooming. Or if the landscapers used rakes and brooms to keep the toxic fumes and loud noises to a minimum.<br><br>Another point about the grounds: There's a particular kind of tree they have planted around the property (I don't know the name) that sheds A LOT of pollen--so much so that my car would frequently be covered in a thin layer of yellow dust. I've got allergies, so this was a major pain for me, particularly since I had to keep the upstairs windows open to keep it cool up there.<br><br>The recycling bins tended to get too full. It would be nice if they had more bins, and recycling bins in every trash area (there was recycling only in certain trash areas). <br><br>SUMMARY<br><br><br><br>In the end, I was happy with Central Park. I wish I could have found something a little cheaper, or something with a washer and dryer in-unit. But with three cats and the need to stay close to my husband's employer (for the bicycle commute), we were limited in our choices. I think that Central Park was a quiet, safe place to stay, and I think you could be happy here.<br><br>
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