The company building The Standard development near the University of Tennessee is behind on at least two other major student housing projects across the country and recently faced setbacks on a third, WBIR 10News has learned.
In Knoxville – more than a month after the start of classes – hundreds of UT students say they’re frustrated that their off-campus apartments are still not ready for move-in.
That appears to also be a problem at schools in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Louisiana where projects overseen by Landmark Properties faced issues.
Builders, however, say the holdups aren’t representative of the company’s overall work product, and that they’re on schedule with the other projects they’re doing throughout the country.
Here’s a snapshot of what WBIR has learned:
- Pennsylvania: The 12-story Metropolitan in State College was set to open this summer, but has been delayed until fall of 2017. Landmark spokesman Cody Nichelson said his company acquired the project from another developer and “from day one” always “projected and communicated” that it wouldn’t open until next year. He said at this point the development “is tracking on schedule,” and no students have been displaced or affected by the schedule.
- North Carolina: The Standard at Appalachian State in Boone was scheduled to open on Aug. 13, but remained delayed. Nichelson said they’re behind because of “unforeseen construction-related delays” tied to the weather and a tight labor market in the area.
- Louisiana: At The Standard at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, most residents moved in prior to the beginning of the semester, but some units were delayed for two to three weeks. The delays, according to Nichelson, were caused by “unsuitable soil conditions,” unfavorable weather and “a subcontractor who defaulted on the company.” The units are now open.
Nichelson shot down reports that The Standard at the University of Florida in Gainesville is behind schedule, calling them false. He said the project is “tracking well ahead of schedule.”
He noted that all the company’s other projects are set to open on time.
“For the first 10-plus years of our company's history, we delivered every project — more than 30 across the country — on time, setting a new industry standard and being named the nation's top student housing developer,” Nichelson said in a statement to WBIR. “This fall, we have delivered four of six projects on time, and all seven of our 2017 deliveries are tracking on or ahead of schedule, as confirmed by third-party inspectors.”
In the meantime, The Standard at Knoxville, a 234-unit building near Cumberland Avenue, should be up and running on Oct. 12.
Developers initially planned to open the building’s door in mid-August but faced a number of unanticipated delays and an overambitious timeline.
To alleviate the problems for tenants, the developer provided two options: The students could stay in one of five nearby hotels, or receive a credit to their account if they decided to stay with friends or family.
In addition, the company said tenants can terminate their lease at no penalty if their unit is not ready by October 12.