A work in progress

Construction workers lay concrete at the unfinished Campus Property Management apartment building on the corner of Springfield Avenue and First Street. It is still not ready for move-in. Josh Birnbaum

Construction workers lay concrete at the unfinished Campus Property Management apartment building on the corner of Springfield Avenue and First Street. It is still not ready for move-in. Josh Birnbaum

By Stephanie Taylor

Campus Property Management would not comment on the situation of their apartment complex that was supposed to open this past August. The complex, located at the corner of Third Street and Springfield Avenue, is still a work in progress. Mounds of dirt and dumpsters surround the building. About half of the building’s balconies do not have railings and the inside of some apartment’s walls are still being insulated. Light fixtures and pipes sit outside the building waiting to be installed.

The property owners had told the tenants that they should be able to move in last Friday afternoon and now they have told tenants they can possibly move in Monday or sometime this week.

Sean Bunce, sophomore in Engineering, signed a lease to live in the building this year. He’s noticed lighting wires hanging out of the building and its surrounding sidewalks caked in mud.

“Having walked by the property pretty frequently, I can’t see how they’re going to pass the regulations they need to in order to get us in by next week,” he said on Friday over the phone.

The building’s original opening date was Aug. 19 and for the past two months its tenants have scrambled to find other living arrangements.

Esther Patt, director at the Tenant Union, has been dealing with stressed tenants since the beginning of the year.

“This is the 13th time in 17 years that CPM has not been ready with a building,” she said.

Campus Property Management has tried to accommodate its tenants until the building’s opening by putting them in other buildings further from campus and at hotels like the Historic Urbana Lincoln. Some tenants, like Bunce, have been living on friend’s apartment couches.

Patt said the lesser offers a $30 per day credit to all of its tenants until they move in -which is enough to get them a cheap hotel with no kitchen, washer, or dryer. Right now, most of them are paying twice what their rent would be by staying in hotels. By next May, the students could come out spending less than they initially would have if the building were ready on time; until then, they must inconveniently pay out of their pockets, Patt said.

John Foley, junior in LAS, signed to live in the new building and is living in another Campus Property Management building further off campus until then. Since Campus Property Management owns the building, he only has to pay the utility bills until he moves into the new building. Foley says the building’s construction is making slow progress.

“I’ve never seen anyone working, if they wanted to get the building done they could’ve real quick-it’s been two months,” he said.

On Oct. 19, the lease on the building binds, giving tenants the opportunity to break their contracts.

Danny McEvilly, junior in FAA, thinks that he will keep his contract with Campus Property Management because it’s too late to find another apartment close to campus.

“You’re stuck between a situation that’s terrible and situation that’s worse -you’re not going to find a place that’s not a roach motel close to campus,” he said.

McEvilly hopes to settle down in the new building as soon as possible.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “I’m a transfer student. I’m looking to find normalcy and routine, and I’m moving from place to place.”