- Austen Hufford/Daily
By Danielle Stoppelmann, Daily Staff Reporter
Published November 18, 2012
Almost three months after moving into Landmark, the newly constructed luxury high-rise building on South University Avenue, students are still encountering issues with ongoing construction and several promised amenities that have yet to open.
Though the hot tub, fire pit, sun deck and barbecue grills are completed, residents will not be able to access the entertainment deck until the city of Ann Arbor approves the space. In an e-mail sent out to residents on Oct. 2, amenities were promised to be ready by Oct. 31. They are now expected to be finished by the end of November.
Despite the delay on the entertainment deck, all other common areas are completed, including the computer center, study lounge, theater room and fitness center.
Gina Cowart — a representative for American Campus Communities, the company that bought the building from the original contractor, Campus Acquisitions, last month — said progress on the remaining construction, while visible, has been slow.
“Although we feel strides have been made, we are disappointed with the pace of their progress,” Cowart said.
Though Campus Acquisitions is responsible for completing the construction they started, Cowart added that ACC has worked to alleviate the woes of the building’s residents, and gave each resident a $500 Visa gift card as a “goodwill gesture.” Residents were also offered the opportunity of taking a $500 rent reduction in lieu of a gift card.
“We understand that our residents were also frustrated with all the amenities not being completed at move-in,” Cowart said.
All of the retail spaces on the ground floor of the building have been leased out and vendors are working to build their own spaces to accommodate individual needs, Cowart said. Retailers such as 7-Eleven, World of Beer, Tim Hortons and No Thai! are expected to open at the beginning of spring term, which starts in May.
Other minor issues, including broken toilet paper holders, missing bed frames and mismatched windows, were fixed by ACC shortly after move-in, according to Art & Design senior Erica Neumann, a Landmark resident. Despite the lack of promised amenities, Neumann and other students said the building is still enjoyable.
“You could tell that it was built in a rush,” Neumann said. “But nothing that really changed the living experience to the point where we weren’t enjoying ourselves. It was just little things. We had to call maintenance and they would come up and fix it.”
LSA junior Shaun Dass said at move-in, only two of the four elevators were working for the approximately 600 residents, creating a “madhouse.” Despite the challenges, Dass said ACC has been cooperative in fixing problems as they arise and now doesn’t wait more than five minutes for an elevator. Though he said the struggle of waiting for an elevator has been somewhat alleviated, the building could benefit from additional elevators.
Dass added it is frustrating that the entertainment deck is not accessible because even if it does open soon, he most likely will not use it because of the cold weather.
After the chaotic move-in, LSA junior Manuj Rattan said the building staff has worked hard to fix issues and install improvements.
“It was a little crazy the first few weeks because stuff was still being built,” Rattan said. “But now it’s fine, everything’s settled in, everything’s good.”
LSA senior Matthew Blecker, who also lives in Landmark, said although he is disappointed that the retail spaces on the ground floor are still not ready, living in Landmark has been pleasant.
“Out of the other options to living on campus, I would still probably choose Landmark,” Blecker said.
LSA junior Ryan Fereydouni said he is content with the living situation in Landmark, and feels his priorities have been met, such as the quality of his room and the convenient location. He added that the amenities that are finished, such as the gym, are “unreal.”
“Overall they’ve been pretty accommodating,” Fereydouni said, “but they definitely shouldn’t have crammed it in the time they did. Next year everyone should move in there, I have no complaints for that. Right now we just got the shaft.”