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The Daily Tar Heel

LUX residents in flux off campus

Tabby Horney, a Senior Political Science and English major, moved in to a room at the Sheraton hotel on Sunday.
Tabby Horney, a Senior Political Science and English major, moved in to a room at the Sheraton hotel on Sunday.

Horney, a senior English and political science major from Cornelius, is one of many LUX at Central Park residents who will live in a hotel in Chapel Hill while construction continues on the luxury apartment complex, located on a 9.13-acre site along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard .

While other UNC students are moving into their housing in time for classes to start, LUX residents don’t have that option. The management team notified all LUX residents via email on June 27 that the apartments would not be completed as scheduled .

Residents were given the option to terminate their leases or opt to live in a hotel for two to three weeks, and near the end of July, Trinitas notified 25 residents that their leases had been terminated outright .

Horney said she will be staying in the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel, which is four miles away from campus. Shuttles to campus will be provided daily, but she said it is still a frustration.

Travis Vencel , the vice president of development for LUX’s parent company Trinitas, would not comment on whether any students would move into LUX on time in an interview this week.

In June, Vencel told The Daily Tar Heel that most units would be ready for move-in on the originally scheduled date, and only a few residents would have to stay in a hotel.

But the scheduled move-in date was Sunday, and Vencel said they are still working on the finishing touches.

“Because of different people’s leases and different things with the building schedule, I just can’t answer whether anyone will be able to move in as they anticipated,” he said this week.

‘Plenty of buffer’

Shortbread Lofts, another luxury student housing development in Chapel Hill located at 333 W. Rosemary St., finished construction on time, wrapping up most of the work to allow all residents to move in on time.

Larry Short, one of Shortbread’s developers, said the building is already 90 percent full of tenants for the year and everything major was done in time for move-in. Shortbread broke ground in January 2013.

“We have a little list of items from the contractor, but nothing major ... Our building was essentially complete,” he said.

And delays were expected when construction on Shortbread was planned, Short said.

“We had anticipated delays, as everybody should,” he said. “We were trying to finish two months early with the expectation that there would probably be some delays. There were some, but we still had plenty of buffer in there to get it done.”

An end in sight

An exact date for when students can move into LUX still hasn’t been set, but Vencel said they are finishing things up.

“We’re working on the finishes,” Vencel said. “We’re making progress on the schedule we thought we would be on a couple of weeks ago, so we’re staying on that.”

A third section of the building will not be completed until January, he said — but this section was not leased to residents for this year.

While Horney isn’t upset with the way the management team handled everything, she said she wishes there was a concrete date for move-in.

“I’m still not exactly sure when it’s going to be done,” Horney said. “They’re telling us two to three weeks, but I don’t have a specific date.”

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