KNOXVILLE (WATE) – More than a month into the fall semester, students who signed leases at The Standard Apartments are still in limbo because their apartments are not ready.
The students housing, located off of the Cumberland Strip, was supposed to be ready for move-in by August, but Friday construction crews were still working on the apartments. Students, like Meagan Gardner, who were supposed to live at the apartments say the most frustrating thing is lack of communication.
Gardner said she has received a few daily emails, but they have been very vague and do not have a move-in date. Thursday, she said she received an email that said the Standard expects people can move in within the next few days, but Peter Ahrens, the Director of Inspections in Knoxville says there are still problems on every floor.
“They are working from the ground up,” said Ahrens. “They haven’t had an entire floor approved yet.”
Inspection reports show a fire marshal did not clear floors 1-4 Thursday. Also, head work above exterior routes needs to be completed before move-in.
“They are aware of those areas and understand they need to correct them before we approve occupancy of the floor,” said Ahrens.
Gardner said she hopes the Standard is able to correct the issues quickly. She’s been living temporarily in apartments and hotels.
“I’m scared to unpack, because I know I will be moving again super soon,” said Gardner. She said the Standard has already moved her three times and one time she only received a 12 hour notice, which was a struggle to move during the middle of the school week.
WATE 6 On Your Side reached out to Landmark Properties, the owner of the Standard, about the inspection reports, but have not received a response. Previously, the Standard’s spokesperson said delays were caused because of weather and a tight labor market. The spokesperson also said the company is going through a learning curve and initial projections were off.
Ahrens said they can not give a date when the first group of students can start moving in. They said it depends on the contractor and stressed that their biggest priority is resident safety.
The University of Tennessee’s housing department is also working to help students displaced due to the unfinished The Standard apartment complex by offering week-to-week contracts at other dormitory buildings on campus.
The Standard at Knoxville timeline
- July 13 – Students were notified that construction was delayed and optional alternative housing will be provided. The Standard said they estimated a phased move-in for all floors by September 20
- August 3 – The Standard sent a letter to residents saying they have been permitted to allow phased move-ins beginning with the first and second floors. They said they were tracking completion for September 20 for all units.
- August 26 – The Standard said they are scheduled to start having furniture installed on the bottom floors on September 6. They said they were still on schedule to have all units completed by September 20, with students on floors 1-2 moving in starting on September 10.
- September 2 – Move-in date for floors 1-2 were pushed back to September 15 and the Standard told residents they reassigned subcontractors to complete the work.
- September 14 – The Standard said they were unable to move students in on September 15. Move in dates were pushed back to the 17-21 of September.
- September 16 – Said apartments were not ready for move-in on September 17 and said they felt “confident that all apartments will be ready for move-in by October 12 and are hopefully ready before then.” If no, Landmark Properties said students will be given the option to terminate their lease agreements at no penalty or cost.
- September 23 – The Standard said “The fire marshal and building inspector visited the property today and walked multiple floors. Work continues on the interior and exterior of the building. We are still awaiting completion of some punch list items in order to receive full sign off room the fire marshal as well as a by floor sign off from the building inspector. We still anticipate a phased move-in, and will do our best to give residents time to allow for advanced planning. Inspectors and staff will be working this weekend too continue the process.” However, residents said they are frustrated because the construction updates from the Standard does not match city inspection records.