After three months of delays, students have finally moved into the Haven49 apartment complex. The original move-in date was pushed from Aug. 14 to Nov. 10 as the company struggled to finish construction and pass inspections. Tenants relocated to hotels, couches and homes far away from campus while they waited for the occupancy approval of their new apartments. Many accrued over $1,000 in stipend money as compensation for the major inconvenience.
Haven49 is an 887-bed/332-unit mid-rise apartment complex developed to house UNC Charlotte students. It is owned by Atlanta-based Haven Campus Communities and is the newest off-campus housing addition to the University community. The fall launch of Haven49 was widely anticipated and was to provide residents with state of the art technology and facilities, including a fitness center (which is still under construction), tanning room, resort-style pool and cabanas.
Construction workers and residents attributed the delays to poor management on behalf of Spire, the construction company that managed the project. As Haven grew more desperate, they hired outside contractors for assistance.
Many broke their leases in retaliation to the two month delay. However, none of these students have received reimbursement for the rent they already paid. Among those waiting for reimbursement is Spencer Gallimore, who filed a complaint with the NC Department of Justice claiming he is entitled to $2,700. Haven has hired a Georgia-based attorney to represent them for such rent-dispute cases.
But for those who stayed loyal to Haven, was the wait worth it?
Haven resident Gianna Agostino told the Niner Times, “There are nice parts but a lot is wrong, especially considering there were so many delays.”
Posts on the “Victims of Haven49” Facebook page, originally intended for students to commiserate and share information during the delays, have affirmed this. One of the major complaints of the group concerns trash in the hallways. Haven offers a trash collection service that has apparently been abused and left the hallways filled with garbage.
Agostino added, “My floors are scratched, my furniture is damaged and my fire alarms are faulty. The neighbors have also been rowdy and make messes with their dogs and trash.”
The “smart apartments” include an Amazon Echo, a smart HDTV and an app to control the lights, temperature and locks. Many of the “Victims of Haven49” say these features do not function properly, if at all.
As the fall semester comes to a close, many students are considering signing leases for the following year. Haven has not posted its prices yet and will not be accepting applications until December. While its amenities and technology will lure in many people, others surely will not forget the transgressions of the past few months.
Photos by Pooja Pasupula.
Click here for the Spanish version of this article.