UPDATE: Problems persist for Burnham residents


Reggie Wynne, sophomore in LAS, turns on his kitchen faucet Thursday. Wynne has complained to Burnham 310 property management that his new apartment is not receiving hot water. Erica Magda

By Emily Bardales

Lack of hot water, construction noise, and other issues have been affecting students moving into the new Burnham 310 building, located at 310 E. Springfield in Champaign.

Around three residents have complained about not having any hot water, said Esther Patt, coordinator of the university Tenant Union.

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They reported not having any since Wednesday, and were told it would be working by Friday evening, she said.

For Ankit Patel, mornings in his new home have begun with sounds of construction.

The noise coming from the units above and next to his are not his only issues with Burnham 310. What really sold Patel, sophomore in LAS, to lease an apartment in the building was the adjacent grocery store, and that is not complete.

“I don’t have a car so the grocery store was the main reason we chose this apartment, and it isn’t done,” Patel said.

At least he is now living on campus. For the last four months, the tenants of Burnham 310 have been living in 88 West, located at 2001 N. Moreland Blvd, and paying for it.

“At first they said that they were going to make it so for three months living at 88 West, we would get three months free rent here at Burnham,” said Reggie Wynne, sophomore in LAS. “I guess the building owner didn’t want to do it that way so they have discussed crediting us a little at a time, but I don’t like that, I just want my money back.”

But Mary Herrold, business developer for Marquette Management, which oversees the building, said Wednesday that the company has done everything it can to make the students’ transition as easy as possible.

“We have gone above and beyond the call of customer service,” Herrold said.

She added that nearly two and a half years of careful planning went into the Burnham 310 project. Still, some residents are not happy, and Herrold said she worries that it’s giving the management company a false reputation.

“It’s like all of our effort has been overlooked,” Herrold said.

Representatives from Marquette Management declined further comment on Thursday evening.

Stephanie Mulka, senior in LAS, was abroad last semester so her parents made most of her living arrangements for her. After the lease had been signed, she received an e-mail saying “Welcome to Burnham, thanks for signing.”

“The e-mail basically said that there was absolutely no way that the building would not be done by the time school began,” said Mulka. “It said that they knew that there were a lot of buildings being built that were questionable about their dates of completion, but they had the best people working on getting Burnham done.”

Mulka has few complaints. She is just glad to be living on campus and has found the office employees to be very helpful.

“They are doing their best considering the situation,” Mulka said.

Burnham will also be helping tenants without cars move in.

Patel, on the other hand, has found Burnham to be misleading, especially on its Web site.

“Under amenities, it lists cable, high speed Internet, and wireless two-story atriums,” Patel said. “What they do not mention on the Web site is that the included cable is only on one television located on the first floor, and the only Internet is in the atriums. As for the specific units, they are wired for cable and Internet, but it is not included in the $700 a person rent that we are paying, for that we are on our own.”

Wynne’s biggest concerns are with the decor.

“I have holes in the wall that they say are supposed to be there and I have the ugliest couch in the world,” he said.

Patel has requested a reduction in the monthly rent and it was denied.

Herrold said that the building’s delayed construction was out of the control of Marquette Management, and that the company is doing its best to accommodate tenants.

“We’re trying to make the worst scenario the best we can possibly make it,” she said.