Unfinished apartment leaves students without a home for fall

Prime Place Apartments were set to open Sept. 2, but construction delays pushed back the opening of some areas to Dec. 29.

The Prime Place apartments under construction on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. With fall approaching and the apartments still unfinished, lesses were offered the option to either annul their leases or wait until Dec. 29 and receive $1,500 in compensation.

Alex Tuthill-Preus

The Prime Place apartments under construction on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. With fall approaching and the apartments still unfinished, lesses were offered the option to either annul their leases or wait until Dec. 29 and receive $1,500 in compensation.

Max Chao

Some University of Minnesota students are on a last minute housing hunt after a new apartment complex delayed its opening by several months.

Last week, the management of Prime Place, a 195 unit apartment complex under construction at 117 27th Ave. SE, sent renters an email that part of the building would not be ready in time for move-in.

Some tenants will still be able to move in to the finished areas.

The news came roughly five weeks before the apartment’s Sept. 2 move-in day. Prime Place’s email said they expect to open the building Dec. 29.

“This has been a difficult decision to make, but after evaluating all options relating to construction delays, we have decided it is in the best interest of all to postpone the opening of portions of the complex until next semester,” the email said.

The apartment’s management is offering residents two options: end their lease early and get their security deposit back or delay the lease until the December move-in day and receive a $1500 bonus.

“I read the email three times in total because I wasn’t able to believe it,” said senior Connie Kim, who planned to move in to the complex with her three roommates. “I was so surprised that they did that a month before the move-in date.”

Kim, a native of Madison, New Jersey, has so far been unable to find new housing.

“The more we’re looking for houses, the more stressed we are and I … just can’t believe the [company] is doing this to us,” she said.

While Kim was surprised by the announcement, sophomore Trevor Wolf was “half-expecting” it, as his frequent commutes to campus take him past the building, where he has seen little progress being made.

“I was preparing myself for the worst,” he said.

The apartment’s management assured Kim and Wolf that construction would be completed on time when they signed their leases, and neither received warning on the status of the construction before the email.

Both students, along with others who were displaced, have contacted the University’s Student Legal Service for assistance.

The center aims to help students find housing and determine whether they are eligible for financial remedies, said USLS Director Mark Karon.

The situation may be classified as a breach of contract, and residents may be able to receive money to cover additional costs caused by the delay, Karon said

“Honestly, we don’t want a lot from them,” Kim said. “We just want to make sure that we have somewhere to stay.”

The Kansas based Prime Place owns and manages several student housing apartments throughout the U.S., including at University of Nebraska – Lincoln and Oklahoma State University.

Construction has caused issues for the company’s residents in the past. Residents in Lincoln arrived to ongoing construction, dirty rooms and neighboring residents submitting noise complaints, according to the Daily Nebraskan.

At Oklahoma State, construction also led to resident noise complaints, according to the school’s student publication, The O’Colly.

The management of Prime Place declined to comment.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated where Connie Kim was from. She is a Madison, New Jersey native.