By Jesse Wood
The Standard at Boone isn’t the only Landmark Properties’ development currently frustrating student tenants as the school year rolls along into October.
The Knoxville News Sentinel published a story this week about delays at The Standard of Knoxville and cited concerns with a few other projects by developer Landmark Properties.
Landmark Properties spokesman Cody Nichelson, who noted in that story that the rerouting of Boone Creek has delayed construction locally in Boone, defended the company’s track record in emailed responses to Knoxville paper:
“Though they are occurring during the same calendar year, delays in Boone and Knoxville are anomalies — not the norm — and our company’s industry-leading track record provides ample evidence of that. This fall, we have delivered six of eight projects on time, and all of our 2017 deliveries are tracking on schedule, as confirmed by third-party inspectors.”
The Standard at Boone was initially scheduled to open up during move-in weekend prior to the beginning of the fall semester at App State. In late June, Landmark Properties said they were on schedule, but that changed in the latter part of July when Landmark cited “unforeseen construction delays, challenging weather conditions and a tight labor market” as causing move-in delays for most of its tenants until early October.
About the first of September, Nichelson noted that the move-in date was anticipated to be early-to-mid October. Yesterday when asked about an update on progress of the Boone student-housing complex, Nichelson responded: “Related to specific timetables and projections, we have nothing new to announce at this time but we are working as quickly as possible to complete the project and move students in.”
On Thursday afternoon, a frustrated parent of a frustrated tenant who is living in a hotel during the construction of The Standard at Boone called High Country Press. Jane Pownall of Charlotte said her son is frustrated with his hotel living situation while juggling a heavy-course load with this added “layer of stress.” She’s frustrated with what she called a “lack of transparency.”
Tenants of the 561-bed complex are holed up two-to-a-room in several local hotels. Most 500-plus tenants chose the option of the developer providing hotel accommodations. This option included a credit for each day of the delay and a $250 gift card upon moving in.
In speaking with a Landmark Properties contact person based in Georgia, Pownall said the developers have booked hotel rooms until Nov. 4 but don’t think they will need to use them that far out. Pownall said she’s concerned that the apartment complex might not be ready by Nov. 4 and then what?
“When I asked what their contingency plan was after Nov. 4,” Pownall said, “all’s I got were crickets.”
Pownell said she’d been expecting more specific details from Landmark Properties about the progress of The Standard at Boone this week but was recently told that wouldn’t happen until next week.
“I need some info. I’m about at the point to see if I could make other housing arrangements. This doesn’t seem to be coming to an end,” Pownell said.
The last mega student apartment complex to be built in and around Boone was The Cottages of Boone in 2013. Capstone Collegiate Communities opened the nearly 900-bed development above N.C. 105 – but not until after delays led to tenants starting off the semester in double-occupied hotel rooms like The Standard’s tenants today.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated following a response from Nichelson. See his entire response regarding concerns, which HCP cited from the Knoxville paper of Landmark Properties’ developments near Louisiana State University; University of Florida; and Penn State.
You must be logged in to post a comment.