The addition of new apartment buildings downtown gave University of Nebraska-Lincoln students more options and flexibility when shopping for a place to live. But not all the students found what they were promised.
Latitude – the recently-constructed apartment building located downtown at 235 S. 11 St. – became available for students to move in on Tuesday, Aug. 18. The building offers many features including study rooms, an outdoor pool with a flat screen TV, outdoor seating, a recreational center and a game room.
Now two weeks after the complex opened, students still hear the sound of drilling and of large trucks pouring concrete. There is orange construction tape that wraps around the sidewalks – now just asphalt – and streets directly outside the building entrance. Each level of the building lacks furniture for the open study areas. The rest of the building, however, including the outdoor seating, is ready for students to enjoy.
Kelly Schatz, a junior finance and marketing major, lives in a one-bedroom unit in the building, which features hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, a quartz countertop kitchen, a mounted 50-inch flat-panel living room TV, an in-unit washer/dryer and many other unusual features for a college apartment.
“I like how cozy it feels and knowing that everything is new,” Schatz said.
But Schatz still finds herself irritated with the construction and issues they faced upon move in, despite the new features.
“Some things seem a bit rushed and not taken great care of,” Schatz said. “There were scuffs on the walls before I even moved in.”
Senior and business administration major Austin Joslin lives in a four-bedroom apartment and pays nearly $700 per month for rent. He said he hasn’t had any issues with his unit.
His apartment, similar to Schatz’s, features all of the amenities he wanted in an apartment.
“I really love the brand-new features of our apartment,” Joslin said. “It’s a great place to live, and I absolutely love it.”
Sydney Stewart, Latitude’s assistant general manager said that upon move in, students were made aware of the construction and says that the city of Lincoln is responsible for it.
Stewart wasn’t sure when the construction will be completed, but Schatz and Joslin said they are hoping for it to be soon.
The other new apartment building that recently opened for students is Prime Place apartments located on 1100 Y St., near the edge of the Lincoln North Bottoms.
Several newspapers including the Lincoln Journal Star have interviewed students who moved into their new residence and have complained of several major issues.
Upon walking into the building, some of the outside building doors have yet to be screwed into their hinges, construction workers flood each floor of the building fixing repairs and construction equipment is set all over the floors.
The main floor has a layer of drywall dust, light fixtures hanging from its sides exposing wiring and an electrical room, which is still under construction. The lobby is missing furniture, and the main office was clearly under construction and was covered with paint cans and other construction equipment.
With no signs directing a person to the stairs, elevator or main office, some students have found resorted to wandering to find their way to certain parts of the building.
The Lincoln Journal Star reported students moving in found paint splattered all over their floors, dirt and clogged bathtubs.
Prime Place’s back driveway, located on N. 12 St. is under construction and closed off to the public.
Prime Place property manager declined to comment about any of the building’s issues or construction.