Students move into unfinished building

Construction+continues+at+309+Green+St.+while+students+who+signed+leases+for+fall+semester+are+without+apartments.+Erica+Magda%0A

Construction continues at 309 Green St. while students who signed leases for fall semester are without apartments. Erica Magda

By Michael Logli

Looking at 309 Green St., it may seem as if a lot of work needs to be done. The outside of the building is covered with construction plastic and many areas around the building are fenced off.

Despite this, students are already living inside. Roland Realty Inc., the building’s owners, would not comment on when the project is expected to be entirely finished.

Rachel Singer, leasing coordinator for Roland Realty Inc., said the realtor is planning to sign more tenants already for next year.

Elliott Brea, junior in Engineering, moved into his ninth floor apartment in early September because he could not move into the unfinished building in August. Brea and his roommates’ lease had a clause that stated that if the building was not finished when school started, residents would have their rent refunded to them for as long as they were not living there. Roland Realty also found a place for them to live at Lincoln View Apartments, 1321 Lincoln Ave. in Urbana.

“You can’t beat any deal like being free,” Brea said.

Last year, Brea lived in an apartment at Third and Daniel streets. Brea said he was unsatisfied with his previous home because of poor heating and cooling systems and maintenance, and he said he decided to take the risk and move into 309 Green St.

Brea said the difference between his old home and new one was drastic. The air conditioning is like a “jet engine” and the building is much more energy efficient than his previous dwelling, he added. The location is also excellent, and Brea enjoys being able to walk to his classes. At $700 a month including cable and Internet, Brea said he is glad his place is as well designed as it is.

“They tried to make it a high-end apartment and they did that,” Brea said. “You feel like you’re not in Champaign anymore.”

Brea said he does not mind that the outside is not finished, but the continuing construction on the building can be annoying. Workers tend to start early in the morning, and the noise can get distracting.

“I’ve been woken up to the sound of drilling,” Brea said.

Danny Rudnick, junior in Engineering and Brea’s roommate, said the drilling affects him too at times. Because of the location and amenities, Rudnick said it is a great deal, even though some amenities including the swimming pool have yet to be finished.

“It’s right in the middle of everything,” Rudnick said.