Incomplete apartments worry tenants

By Nicola Crean

The 309 Green Apartments are one of the most recent housing additions to Campustown, but concerns linger among future tenants as the building’s construction is less than halfway completed.

Construction is set to be completed in August 2008, and prospective tenants have already signed leases.

“All apartments are scheduled to be completed before the lease move-in dates and no delays are anticipated. We have noticed little concern (with clients and) the completion of 309 Green,” said Rachel Singer, leasing coordinator for Roland Realty, who is in charge of leasing 309 Green.

Although Roland Realty does not foresee any issues with construction time, Nick Bulleri, junior in LAS and a future tenant at 309 Green, said he still has some doubts.

“(Roland) tells us that they are on schedule and that the first eight floors take the longest due to all the concrete that needs to be poured,” said Bulleri, adding that he is still worried that the building will not be done on time, and all the amenities the realtor promised will not be available.

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    If the apartments are not available for occupancy when the lease begins, tenants will receive compensation. The lease states they will receive double the daily rent from Roland for each day the residents are unable to move in.

    If the tenants have still not moved in after 60 days, they may cancel their lease agreement.

    Bulleri said he has already made additional arrangements should they not be allowed to move in on time.

    “It is difficult to say how far along the construction is, but we have made great progress,” said Singer. “All of the big things are out of the way like the garage and pool.”

    The building is required to pass life safety inspection for occupancy, Singer said. Once that is acquired, residents can begin moving in by floor as the apartments’ interiors are completed if delays occur.

    Upon completion, the 24-story high-rise at 309 E. Green St. will stand as the largest building in Champaign-Urbana. It will include six floors of parking and approximately 110 apartments.

    Singer said the first floor will comprise retail businesses. The space has not been leased yet, but there has been interest from multiple companies.

    “We are leased out of more than half of the floor plans,” Singer said. “The idea of being the first to occupy the newest and most exciting building to come to campus is very exciting to future tenants.”

    Bulleri said he was so impressed by the extra services provided for the residents that he was convinced to spend additional money on rent to reside there.

    “I was so amazed at what the building was going to be like,” Bulleri said. “The designs made the place look incredible, and I just hope it turns out to be like the designs.”

    Roland has had to use floor plans with room dimensions and a virtual image tour in order to lease apartments, since there is no completed model to show potential clients.

    The apartments come fully furnished, as most on campus do. However, they include a flat-screen television in their furniture package, and the Internet in their rent prices.

    Tenants will also enjoy a pool and fitness center located in the building.

    “We have been able to pre-lease the apartments at 309 Green easily,” Singer said.

    “There are numerous aspects that sets us apart from other housing options available for UIUC students.”