By Emily Wangen
A new off-campus housing complex has experienced a long string of setbacks after 14 months of construction because of the weather, officials say.
The Quarters, located near Highway 6 East, houses 880 tenants in 352 apartments, with the vast majority being students at the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College.
Tenants have experienced wiring issues, uninstalled washers and dryers, Wi-Fi connectivity issues, and an unfinished clubhouse.
Despite the problems, the complex abided by the fire-life safety requirements by the time tenants moved in, said city senior housing inspector Stan Laverman.
Leases for The Quarters apartment complex began Aug. 1.
Fifteen tenants were left unable to move in for a week while their apartments were being finished and able to pass safety inspections. Project supervisor Drew Coffin noted that many of the tenants went home, but The Quarters provided the other tenants in Iowa City with hotel accommodations.
Coffin said The Quarters has been working to resolve tenants’ issues and gave tenants $150 in rent credit for the unfinished clubhouse.
UI sophomore Mike Leiva moved into his apartment at The Quarters on Aug. 1 and found many problems. Leiva said he believes the construction was done quickly, not thoroughly.
“Once it’s all done, it will be pretty nice,” he said.
Like Leiva, UI senior Hudson Spedding also experienced problems when he moved in at the beginning of August. He reported issues with his stove, outlets, washing machine, and dishwasher when he moved in. Despite this, he said, he enjoyed living in the complex.
“My experience has been pretty pleasant,” he said.
Both Leiva and Spedding noted that they felt The Quarters was quick to address their concerns. The clubhouse was open for tenants to use last week, and construction is expected to be completed next week, Coffin said.
“We are working diligently to get maintenance issues taken care of,” he said. “We understood there was a lot of things to be done.”
During construction, all tenants of The Quarters were given an agreement to sign stating that they would be tolerant about the workers, Iowa City inspections, and the management company.
“General construction work on the building’s interior common spaces and exteriors along with site landscaping will continue after occupancy is allowed of the individual apartment,” the agreement states.
Laverman said agreements such as this are not uncommon because of issues in the past, but he said he has not received any complaints regarding the construction at The Quarters.
The Quarters is also in the process of adding another apartments buildings which is expected to be completed in October and available for rent starting next year.
Once construction on the new building is completed, the complex will house 900 tenants. Currently, The Quarters has locations in college towns across the Midwest including Cedar Falls; Ames; East Lansing, Michigan; Mankato, Minnesota; Rochester, Minnesota; and West Lafayette, Indiana.