Is there an end in sight for Prado’s construction delays?
The scheduled move-in date for the Prado apartment complex was Aug. 22, 2014; however, after nearly a two-month delay, students have yet to move into their bed space. Currently, residents are housed in either the Marriot Residence Inn, La Cantera resort or the Holiday Inn. Prado residents still pay rent according to their lease rate, despite not living in their actual apartment. As per each lease, Prado incorporates a construction addendum, which specifies that in the event of delayed completion, each student could either accept the given hotel accommodations and pay rent or find someone to live with and not pay rent until the move-in date. However, students must pay roughly $20-$50 a month for their own storage space for personal items.
“I don’t think it’s fair because some of the people who signed for a five bedroom and have a cheaper rate, like $495, are getting the same accommodations as me, who is paying $599, while some are paying almost $1000 every month,” senior Tayler Mooney said.
Prado ensures its accommodations are sufficient alternatives to the student’s actual apartments and provides a daily $20-$30 stipend to students for food and other expenses. Additionally, each hotel provides breakfast, as well as a shuttle service to and from school. If students decided not to accept the living arrangements, they were given a one-time stipend as an apology for the delay.
UTSA alumni Mariah Ozuna remarked, “The staff is cooperative. It must be tough for them because I’m not the only one calling in on a weekly basis to figure out what’s going on. I can only imagine the stress they are under, and I haven’t had a bad experience because they handled (the delay) pretty well.”
Regardless, the delay affects students’ school experiences. Mooney explains that the accommodations lack a sufficient study area and do not provide a sense of security or hospitality. Further, Prado residents cannot personalize a hotel living space and must anticipate the stress of moving into a new location mid-semester. Additionally, students continue to pay for storage as a precaution in case their projected move-in date is pushed back further.
According to Prado, multiple factors play a role in the delay, like construction difficulties leading to the miscalculation of the projects completion date. Fortunately, Prado expects students to start moving in within the next 10-15 business days (Nov. 3-8).
Prado management intends to increase transparency with students and inform them immediately of any changes to move-in dates. It encourages students to come into their office to answer any questions. Prado Senior Regional Manager Josh Purkeypile commented, “We were disappointed as a staff because we wanted our residents to move in when we told them they were moving in, but we will continue with what we are doing and that is putting students needs first. We consider ourselves customer servants.”
According to Prado management, the high-end style apartment is unlike any other apartment complex with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and wood style flooring. Complete with a recreational center, resort-style pool, study lounges and businesses, Prado was on track to become a hub for student living. However, the high-rise allure that once attracted students may become ineffective if delays persist.
Once construction is complete, Prado will provide some unique amenities unfamiliar in traditional student housing. The parking garage will afford each resident a space and will give businesses parking spots for their patrons. Moreover, Pita Pit, Indie Coffee and a barbershop are a few businesses Prado has confirmed to be available on site. Still, the question remains—when will resident move in?
UTSA graduate Mariah Ozuna remarked, “(Prado) made it seem like it was a new thing. They said there were going to be shops at the bottom and made it seem like it was the whole works, like something new … something more.”