A total of 106 students won’t be moving into Maplewood Apartments on August 20 after construction delays have postponed the apartments’ opening by four to six weeks. Residents were offered options to deal with the inconvenience caused by delays in a development that has been granted several work extensions.
The complex is being developed by EdR, a company that specializes in collegiate housing. In an email that was sent to residents a little over a month before the start of the lease, and that Craig Wack, public relations coordinator for the EdR Trust, provided to The Sun, Maplewood Apartments outlined some options for the displaced students.
Those who choose to live with a friend or in an AirBNB location would receive a $200 MasterCard gift card every day to cover “meals, transportation costs and incidentals,” and have their lease payments prorated. About half of the students have taken this option, according to Wack in an email to The Sun.
Students could also choose to live in a hotel, booked and paid for by EdR, and receive a daily $100 MasterCard gift card while still paying their lease. They were also given the option to cancel their lease without penalty, which Wack said around ten percent of students chose.
Residents were given one week to decide which option they would choose. According to Wack, a handful of students have not yet replied.
Maplewood Apartments said that it postponed informing residents of the delay until just over a month before the scheduled lease start date because it “wanted to give [its] construction partner time to get back on schedule,” according to a list of residents’ frequently asked questions.
However, the apartments’ construction has continually faced difficulty. In December, according to Ithaca Planning Board meeting minutes, construction was an estimated 25 days behind schedule.
In April, the Planning Board approved the extension of construction hours from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m after significant debate. At that meeting, developers said they would “largely be able to keep to the August delivery schedule” but would stagger move-ins starting in July, according to the April 3 meeting minutes.
Construction has been delayed over the year due to a variety of concerns, according to The Ithaca Voice, including both a tough year for the wood-framing industry due to hurricanes and a wet construction season.
The new apartments have been lauded as eco-friendly apartment buildings, The Sun previously reported. Their website states that the apartment buildings are “exclusive” to professional or graduate students.
“We continue to monitor the situation at the construction site daily,” Wack wrote. “Right now we are at the stage where we are planning for the worst and hoping for the best.”