Students face issues with floorplans, amenities after delayed move-in

11 months ago
Marisa Williams
Mercury Staff

All of the 595 individuals who had planned to reside at Northside, the new apartment complex on Synergy Park Boulevard, have moved into the apartments as of Sept. 15.

Sydney Huebner, who works in the Northside office, said the delay was caused by unfinished loft units in block two of the complex.

Residents whose units weren’t completed in time were given the option of receiving alternative housing at various hotels and a food stipend. They also could instead receive an abatement in rent to compensate for the delayed move-in.

Sam Goetsch, another employee of the Northside office, said students were also provided transportation to campus through Sept. 15. From then on, Goetsch said the hotels have been providing shuttle transportation.

AJ Bucag, an information technology and systems sophomore, had stayed at the Holiday Inn for four weeks. He moved in on Sept. 15 and said the move went smoothly despite a few complications.

“We were missing the microwave plate when we moved in,” Bucag said.

While all the residents have moved in, some were placed in units with different floor plans than what the residents had requested.

Iris McColm, a biology senior who moved in on Aug. 27, was placed in a unit designed for someone with a disability. She said she and her roommates didn’t receive notice of the change.

“We didn’t know until the first one of us got our keys and came in the room and saw that it was different from the floor plan we signed up for,” McColm said.

Due to the accommodations made for someone who needs mobility with a wheelchair, McColm said both of her roommates have sizably smaller closets. They resemble the closets in the dorms, with only a small cutout in the wall.

One of the rooms is also smaller to make the hallways wider, and the bathroom is openly facing the hallway rather than being enclosed in the corresponding bedroom. The original floorplan had an attached bathroom for each bedroom. Additionally, counter, fridge and pantry space have been lost for similar reasons.

Although the rent amount wasn’t any more expensive, McColm said her roommates wanted a deduction in their monthly rent due to the differences in the layout within their own rooms.

“They didn’t offer to reduce our rent until my roommates went with their parents twice. … They reduced their rent by $50 a month,” she said.

McColm said she felt like she shouldn’t complain since her room remained the same as the layout she was expecting to have. She still pays the normal rate.

She and her roommates have also experienced a flooded bathroom and a washer that moves aggressively, bringing it almost directly in front of the door by the end of a wash cycle.

Despite these difficulties, McColm said she approves of the floor plan.

“It is a really nice layout and it’s a cool space,” she said. “It has a lot of potential.”

Criminology sophomore Sierra Sees, who moved into a three-person Northside apartment on Aug. 27, said she was drawn to the complex’s style and amenities.

“When we first moved in, they also told us they were going to be having a pool, a private gym and a clubhouse for all the residents,” Sees said.

However, she said, she was notified by Northside prior to signing her lease that it may be six months until the amenities would be completed and able to be utilized.

Maureen Omrod, the person in charge of media relations for Balfour Beatty Investments, the company that manages Northside, said Northside expects to have its amenities completed and available to residents prior to the fall break.

Despite delays in move-in and amenities, Omrod said Northside lost only three residents.

In each of the cases where residents decided to not take occupancy and cancel their lease, Omrod said fees for breaking the lease were waived by the Northside team.