Tuesday, September 13, 2011

DEVELOPER DEJA VU? About student apartment fiasco, hate to say "we told ya so"

From "Anti-Grove" Facebook
COLUMBIA, 9/13/11  (BeatByte) -- Eight months after a 5-part Columbia Heart Beat series reported myriad nationwide problems with a student apartment developer bound for Columbia, local students are encountering many of the same difficulties.
 
On January 23, the Heart Beat began its series on the sexual harassment lawsuits; angry resident protests; unpaid contractor liens; shoddy workmanship claims; and employee grievances facing Campus Crest Communities, a publicly-held student apartment developer that had just received unanimous approval from Columbia's Planning and Zoning Commission to build a 632-bedroom student housing community called The Grove across 12.5 acres on Grindstone Parkway and Rock Quarry Road.   No one on the zoning board knew anything about the company's problems. 
 
One week later, on January 28 the Columbia Daily Tribune picked up the story
 
Despite the reports, the Campus Crest project went on to receive full, unquestioning approval from the Columbia City Council. 

With the start of the school year, the Columbia Missourian and Tribune reported that students face move-in delays; workmanship problems; and other issues that mirror those earlier reported by the Heart Beat.
 
 
"Ashley Zavala was finally able to move into her new apartment at The Grove at 2 p.m. Tuesday.  Six hours later, she had packed up and moved out," the Trib reported.   "'It was that bad,' the University of Missouri senior said."
 
"As with any business, it's impossible to satisfy all your customers, although we try our best," Campus Crest CEO Ted Rollins told the Heart Beat in an exclusive interview, part 4 of our series.  "We believe the quality of our buildings is outstanding, and even superior to that of our industry peers." 
 
OUR SERIES ON CAMPUS CREST:

1 comment:

  1. It's worse than you think:

    North Texas Daily September 6, 2011 - PRIORITIES SHOULD SHIFT IN WAKE OF BALCONY COLLAPSE (on Sept 3, 2011)
    http://www.ntdaily.com/?p=56563

    "Three men were still in a Fort Worth hospital last night, three days after falling from a third story balcony while attending a party at one of Denton’s newest student-living apartment complexes.

    One is still in serious condition.

    Garrett Draper, Grant Draper and Tony Garcia walked out of a door they thought led to the balcony, but actually led down to The Grove’s parking lot.

    Don’t call it a balcony to The Grove’s upper management, though.

    Chassity Brown, a spokeswoman for Campus Crest, the company that owns The Grove, said the structure involved in the incident was a 'decorative, non-weight bearing structure that was not designed to support the weight of three full, grown adults.'

    If the structure wasn’t meant to support the weight of grown adults, it is careless and irresponsible to have a fully functioning door that opens out to the area.

    It’s either a door that leads to the balcony or a door that leads to ground.

    Serious questions need to be asked, and the apartment won’t be the only one forced to answer to inquiries.

    The Grove apartments were constructed over the summer and went up in about two months — an alarmingly fast turnaround. That should have been a red flag to the building inspector to spend enough time thoroughly checking the building, especially the railings – decorative or not.

    In its 10-K form filed with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Campus Crest touted its vertically integrated platform to investors. According to the document, Campus Crest has ownership of the companies that perform every part of The Grove development process.

    As Ted W. Rollins, CEO of Campus Crest, pointed out in an interview with Multi-Housing News (MHN) the company stands to benefit 100 percent from the value creation of The Grove entities.

    In other words, they have a direct financial incentive to build quickly and cheaply."


    Campus Crest should be sued by these students & parents. Our story is the same here in Fort Collins CO, home to CO State Univ.

    We worked hard for over a year but Rollins' money won out over Land use code and common sense.

    Only our neighborhoods - adjacent to where it'll be built cared about the reputation of Campus Crest and what that not only means for our neighborhoods but for the safety of CSU Students.

    We weren't allowed to tell our decision makers about Campus Crest, yet you gotta know they knew.

    In the end they gave their approval because money speaks to power.

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