Displaced Burnham 310 tenants face limited, off-campus options

Burnham 310 on east Springfield Avenue in Champaign has informed residents it will not be completed until Oct. 31. Steve Contorno

Burnham 310 on east Springfield Avenue in Champaign has informed residents it will not be completed until Oct. 31. Steve Contorno

By Kate Szyszka

Students planning to live at Burnham 310 on east Springfield Avenue in Champaign will be looking for temporary residence for the beginning of the fall 2008 semester – but it seems those options are now limited to off-campus locations.

In a letter sent last week to lessees from Burnham 310 developers, tenants were informed they would be able to sign month-to-month leases with other local realty groups until their new unit becomes available for move-in. The building, which began construction over a year ago, will not be completed when leases begin in late August. A news release stated the building would be completed by October 31.

The options offered in the letter from Burnham 310 developers included the University Group, 309 S. First St.; The Village at Colbert Park, 812 S. Sixth St.; 88 West, 2001 N. Moreland Blvd.; and Indigo Place, 117 Sterling Court in Savoy. Of the realtors listed in the letter, the University Group was the only one that offered on-campus apartments for temporary residence.

However, when contacted by The Daily Illini on Monday, Chris Hamelberg, general manager at the University Group, said the realty company would not be offering short-term leases for Burnham 310 lessees.

“Burnham recommended to the residents to sign two-month leases. At the University Group we offer nine- and or 12-month leases,” Hamelberg said. He declined to comment further.

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Mary Herrold, of Marquette Management for Burnham 310, disputed Hamelberg’s comments, saying the University Group had initially agreed to provide the short-term leases to displaced Burnham residents.

“Last week they offered month-to-month leases,” she said. “They changed their mind on Friday night.”

Esther Patt, coordinator for the Tenant Union at the University, said that lessees will face new challenges living off campus.

“Students without cars are going to face problems because they are not being offered an on-campus option,” said Patt. “If students want to wait for their apartments to be completed, they will have to go off campus.”

Patt said that some tenants have been able to get out of the leases they signed for their Burnham 310 unit but that individual situations may vary based on the version of the lease signed.

“They should contact the tenant union; we need to read what they’ve signed,” she said.