At first, only some students were not going to be able to move into the apartments they rented in a new complex near the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus in time for the first day of school. Now apparently all of them are in a predicament that U officials say is unprecedented.
About 400 students signed leases with a Sept. 2 move-in date for the privately owned Prime Place apartments on 27th Avenue SE. near TCF Bank Stadium. In late July, more than half were notified their apartments wouldn't be ready until the end of December.
Last week, the rest learned their move-in would likely also be delayed.
"We wanted to inform you that there is a possibility that your apartment will not be ready for the scheduled Sept. 2 move-in," said an Aug. 23 e-mail to tenants from Prime Place general managers. "You will still have an apartment with us and you will still be living at Prime Place."
The company gave students two choices: Live in a hotel until their apartment is ready, or find a temporary place to live and receive a $50 rent deduction for each day their apartment is unavailable. Unlike the first group of students, they weren't given the choice to end their lease.
Affected students can seek legal representation from the University Student Legal Service and they could be eligible for damages, said Mark Karon, the service's director.
Chris Elsey of Elsey Partners, the Kansas-based developer behind the project, declined to comment.
The company also manages student apartments in the college towns of Manhattan, Kan.; Stillwater, Okla.; and Lincoln, Neb. In 2015, University of Nebraska students found that their new apartments weren't finished.
The situation is unprecedented at the U, Karon said.
"It's putting a lot of strain on our office," he said.