Kayla Wright was one of hundreds of NAU students who were told at 8 a.m. Friday they couldn’t move into the newly built, private apartment complex across the street from the Flagstaff city jail.
“I am livid,” she said, reaching to get another box from back seat of the car.
Wright and her parents waited for more than two hours Friday before being allowed to move in, forced to wait in the parking lot roughly 100 feet away from her new apartment.
Wright said she felt bad for her father; who flew in from New York the night before and got up before dawn to drive up from Phoenix to help her move.
City officials briefly red-tagged most of The Grove at Flagstaff apartment complex after the city fire marshal found that the alarm system was not working properly. That required the city to briefly block public access to the building until the code violations were remedied.
In all, nine out of the 10 buildings were reopened by Friday afternoon, with city officials reporting a total of 48 residents would be put up in hotel rooms until the final building was ready.
A representative with Campus Crest Communities, the developer behind The Grove at Flagstaff, blamed heavy summer monsoons on the delays.
“Unexpected construction delays caused by heavy rains over the past few weeks delayed this morning’s move-in at the property,” he said, apologizing to the residents for the inconvenience.
Mark Landsiedel, the city’s community development director, confirmed that construction crews have been working around the clock in order to get temporary certificates of occupancy for the apartment complex.
Emily Rend, director of marketing for Campus Crest Communities, confirmed the entire development is fully leased.
The Grove is designed to house 562 students. The entire development is estimated to cost roughly $33.1 million, according to information on the Campus Crest website designed to attract private investors.
Rents for the two- and three-bedroom apartments were not disclosed.
NEW CAMPUS DORMS FILLED
Across town, two privately-funded dorms on the Northern Arizona University campus opened without a hitch.
Jane Kuhn, the NAU facilities director, said Hilltop Townhomes, on the site of the old ropes course, and The Suites on McConnell Drive were fully leased as well.
The new halls were built by third-party developer American Campus Communities, which paid an estimated $85 million to build the two complexes in an agreement with the university.
The dorms will house roughly 1,100 students between them, including a handful of Coconino Community College students.
The Suites are traditional, suite-style dorms with double occupancy, either with two students in a single room with its own bathroom or students in two, single-person rooms connected by a shared bathroom.
The Hilltop Townhomes are four-bedroom, three-bath, two-story townhouses which have additional amenities to the usual dorms, including a dishwasher, washer, dryer, air conditioning and access to a parking garage.
MORE SUPPLY, LOWER RENTS
Rosemary Harris, a Realtor with Flagstaff Realty, said she was not sure what effect the new student housing will have on the local real estate market. “It is too early to tell,” she said.
She speculated the new housing could lead to decreases in rent for some properties near the university, believing an increase in supply could force landlords to price their property more aggressively.
She said continued increases in the number of NAU students here in Flagstaff could offset any downward pressure on prices caused by new supply.
More than 17,761 enrolled in classes on the Mountain Campus last fall, according to the school website.
Roughly 7,000 lived in NAU campus housing. NAU’s Office of Residence Life operates 21 on-campus dorms and apartment complexes for single undergraduates, graduate students and families.