Some residents unable to move into apartments at The Grove

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | 9:19 p.m. CDT; updated 2:14 p.m. CDT, Saturday, October 1, 2011
Uncompleted construction on The Grove, a new apartment complex, prevents residents from moving in on time Monday. Instead of unpacking in their new apartment, many residents found themselves temporarily staying in a hotel.

COLUMBIA — MU student Lauren Malm was scheduled to move from Fort Worth, Texas, into her apartment on Saturday at The Grove, a new 632-bed apartment complex on Rock Quarry Road where construction began in February.

Malm said management notified her Friday afternoon that her apartment wasn’t ready. Malm’s move-in date was pushed to Monday morning, then Monday evening. After spending her first three days in Columbia at the Quality Inn, she contacted The Grove and found out her apartment wouldn’t be ready until Tuesday.

As of Wednesday, 35 residents were still unable to move into their new apartments at The Grove, according to a statement read over the phone by Trent Rosenthal, general manager of The Grove. Of those 35 residents, 25 were staying in hotels paid for by the apartment complex. In addition to the Quality Inn, residents are staying at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Jonathan Maize, who moved to Columbia from Kansas City over the weekend, also found out Friday that he wouldn’t be able to move into The Grove on Saturday as he planned.

“I had a U-Haul full of stuff, and they told me the day before I had to leave that my apartment wasn’t ready," Maize said.

Maize stayed in the apartment of a friend who lived at The Grove while he waited for construction to finish on his apartment.

Some residents who were able to move in on schedule found construction issues. When Katie Koch moved into her unit on Saturday she found a cracked wall in the shower stall that she said didn’t seem to have been caulked properly, and the bathroom sink was cracked.

Koch also said that a leg on the apartment’s furnished desk was cracked and an end table looked like it had been “dropped in the mud—no joke.”

Koch's roommates told her they found food and bottles of water in her refrigerator, which she assumed workers had left because she and her roommates were the first ones to live in her apartment.

Resident Tim Shearn found scratches on the tile and furniture that came with the apartment when he moved in on Saturday. He said the sofa was also missing cushions, and the washing machine hadn’t been connected to the drainpipe. After the washer was turned on for the first time, he found a standing pile of water that made its way to the carpet in his room.

Shearn said he notified management at The Grove of the water, and worker quickly came to clean up the water and the carpets.

On Monday, the grounds of The Grove were hectic with maintenance and construction workers hurrying to different areas of the complex. Some operated heavy construction equipment. One worker installed a light bulb in an exterior fixture at a building that looked complete, while another worker standing on a boom lift did exterior work on a fenced-off building. 

Residents waited at the front desk, complaining among themselves of late bus shuttles, which they said were running late throughout the day or had been filled to capacity and couldn’t pick residents up to take them to class.

In his statement, Rosenthal said that The Grove was doing “everything in our power” to meet the needs of residents and that the complex should be “fully operational as planned very soon.”

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Mike Martin August 24, 2011 | 11:22 p.m.

More about this story, from back in January:

PLANNING AND GROANING: Controversy clouds P&Z-approved developer, Pt. 1

STUDENT TENANTS SLAM: Columbia-bound developer

RACIAL CHARGES, UNPAID BILLS: Dog Columbia-bound developer

LAWSUITS, COMPLAINTS GROUNDLESS: Campus Crest founders claim

FROM ORKIN PEST TO CAMPUS CREST: A Horatio Alger story on the rocks

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub August 25, 2011 | 8:59 a.m.

Why the city allows these out of state companies to come in, bringing their own materials, and their own workers, and taking their money out of our city is beyond comprehension. This is not the first example of shoddy workmanship, and if they keep allowing this, it certainly won't be the last. I wonder if anyone has checked worker documentation at these sites?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 25, 2011 | 9:19 a.m.

Gary Struab wrote:

"Why the city allows these out of state companies to come in, bringing their own materials, and their own workers, and taking their money out of our city is beyond comprehension."

That's mainly because they're not doing work for the city - they're doing work for a private individual/company who is free to hire whoever they want. If it was city work, then you'd have more of a point.


(Report Comment)
John Springli August 25, 2011 | 9:43 a.m.

That is what happens when you speed build a place on an unrealistic timeline. They rush to get it done and then don't really fix the issues and charge you in the end for their mistakes that they never end up fixing. I lived in a 3-year-old complex built similar to this one last year and even then I had the same issues, and some that had evolved.

Toilet was not put in level or square to the wall and several of the showers in the apartment had "soft spots" in the floor. Then when we moved in it evolved on to the door looking like someone jackhammered it, the carpet smelling like the dog that my roommates and I knew had lived there before us, and a broken coffee table and ripped up furniture.

Did they fix any of this while we were there? They gave us a coffee table and painted the door ... but that's it. When we moved out they charged us each more than $250.

It is unfortunate these companies feel like they can take advantage of us just because we are/were college students.

I do wonder what regulations exist on these places that are built that quickly? How on earth did it ever pass an inspection? Did it even pass one? What bonus did the foreman collect for finishing the project in 6 months?

(Report Comment)

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