Delays stall condo move-in

Some of the U Flats residents were housed in a St. Louis Park hotel before they could move into the building.

Vadim Lavrusik

Most University students across campus were able to move into their new home before school started – but some were less fortunate.

Because of delays in construction and inspections, students who bought condos in the new U Flats were not able to move into their units last weekend.

U Flats officials housed some of the students in a hotel in St. Louis Park to alleviate the inconvenience, and said students will be able to move in today.

Individualized studies sophomore Sasha Karosas, one of the students housed in the hotel, was told she would not be able to move into her U Flats unit until Sept. 12.

There are 36 rooms in the hotel – 30 of which were reserved for U Flats buyers who were not able to move in, Karosas said

“I was kind of annoyed, but it’s more of an inconvenience that I am in St. Louis Park and not near campus,” she said. “I’m not sure whether a shuttle will be provided from (the hotel) to campus.”

About 15 residents can’t move in to U Flats until Tuesday, and the rest can move in today. The building has 75 one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

U Flats sales representative Jenny Kadlec said all but one of the 75 units will be occupied and about 225 people will be living there this fall.

Karosas temporarily moved in with a friend in Minneapolis to be closer to campus for classes and will stay until her scheduled move-in date.

Tony Zosel, managing director of Multiply, an agency hired to market U Flats, said the developer and the agency have been clear with tenants that they would be able to move somewhere between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15.

“From what I can tell, it’s not that big of a deal,” Zosel said.

He said owners temporarily are being housed in the hotel because the developer of U Flats owns the hotel.

Zosel said he was surprised the construction was finished by deadline.

“Last February I thought, No way is this going to be done by fall,” he said. “It’s amazing it got done.”

Bill Frothinger, a sales broker for U Flats, said students were able to move their belongings into most of the units last weekend but were not able to take residence because of inspections that took place Tuesday and Wednesday.

The construction stalled because of a delay in an order of windows, Frothinger said.

“These sort of things happen in construction projects; when there is one holdup, everything gets delayed,” he said.

Frothinger said the landscaping and parking construction is still in progress and the facility might have a retail coffee shop.

Physics graduate student Marc Landeweer was optimistic about moving into his one-bedroom unit.

Landeweer, who is working on his doctorate, said he thought buying a place was a better investment than renting.

“It was one thing if I was planning on being at the University for a year or two, but I am planning on being here for a while,” he said. “It would be a waste to throw $10,000 on rent, so I might as well build some equity and have my own place.”

Landeweer was living in University Village apartments until last week, but with the help of his parents purchased his U Flats condo in the spring.

More than 70 percent of buyers have been parents of students, and the demand has been growing, Frothinger said.

Because of such demand the developer has launched a new project called M Flats, which is due for completion next fall.

The location of M Flats will be on 29th Avenue at University Avenue Southeast.