U of L asks The Grove to waive resident rent

By on August 28, 2014
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By Simon Isham and Jacob M. Abrahamson–

U of L leadership are going to bat for students who signed leases with The Grove. University administrators brought a set of demands to the corporate heads of Campus Crest, The Grove’s parent company, in a closed meeting on Aug. 24. The demands included a month of free rent and increased security on the property.

Dean of Students and Acting Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Mardis and Director of Housing Shannon Staten sent a letter to students who signed leases, detailing the decisions made in the meeting.

The Campus Crest team agreed to the following demands:

  • All residents will receive one month’s free rent.
  • Major construction in rooms and common areas was finished by the evening of Aug. 26, and minor touchups will continue occur over the next several weeks as reported by tenants.
  • No student should be expected to live in an apartment with no access to air conditioning, water or electricity.
  • A security company should be hired, 24-hours per day, to guard the property until all security fences and gates are erected, and all doors have the appropriate locks and alarms.
  • All outdoor lighting will be installed by the end of the week.

Mardis said that the letter did not reach all students who had signed leases at the property.

We received the list of students from Campus Crest management and it is not inclusive of every student.  As we get additional names from Campus Crest we will send this letter out to them,” he said.

At time of press, Campus Crest says that the pool and amenities will be completed by Sept. 19, and that all other construction will be completed by Oct. 1, barring any other unforeseen delays.  Grove Representative Angel Herrera explained that crews were on site working at all times, but had to get projects completed in a very specific order.  On Aug. 27, construction crews were all over the property.

Security has also been noticeably increased on the premises.  Securitas, a security firm, has been in place since Monday, replacing the guards who guarded the construction site.

Specific details are not available for security reasons, but Herrera offered the Cardinal a tour of the building to show the steps that have been taken to correct the security issues of move-in weekend.  Information on increased security was also posted on The Grove’s Facebook page and emailed to residents.

According to Herrera, The Grove is letting all students out of their lease if they request it.  So far, three students have done so, although Herrera said that parents were usually the ones wanting their students out of the lease, and that demand from actual students has been low.

Herrera directed The Cardinal to Metro Louisville’s Freedom of Information form to request The Grove’s Certificate of Occpancy, which Grove officials have been assuring students all week that they possess.

The Cardinal searched the Metro Louisville Department of Permits and Inspections’ permit website for the document, but could not find it. According to Dee Allen, open records coordinator for the Louisville Metro Office of Management and Budget, the permit website constitutes “all records available that would meet (the) request description.”

Multiple requests to Campus Crest for help obtaining the document have been ignored.

About Simon Isham

Simon Isham is the Editor-in-Chief of The Louisville Cardinal, where he has worked since 2012. For his reporting at the Cardinal, he has won awards from the Kentucky Press Association and the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has also written for LEO Weekly and Insider Louisville. He will graduate in December, 2014.

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