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City council hears frustrated Hub tenants in discussion meeting

September 6, 2019
<p>Mayor Aaron Stephens at the July 16 East Lansing City Council meeting.</p><p></p>

Mayor Aaron Stephens at the July 16 East Lansing City Council meeting.

Photo by Junyao Li | The State News

Despite the high-end design of The Hub, some tenants were at the Sept. 3 city council meeting to voice displeasure with the early stages of their living experience.

Among the complaints from two tenants who spoke were unclean rooms at the time of move-in, incomplete rooms lacking features such as a closet and issues with the garbage chute constantly filling with trash and spilling into the chute room and lobby.

The Hub’s early struggles date back to the August 21 move-in date, when students were notified by email that the 8 a.m. move-in time would be delayed. The email notifying students they could begin moving into their apartments was not sent until 3:31 p.m., at which time a large line of tenants overflowed onto Grand River. 

The developers for The Hub are Core Spaces. Senior Vice President Rodney King was present at the meeting.

“We absolutely own the move-in experience,” King said. “It did not go as planned and we do apologize for that.”

RELATED: The Hub On Campus experiences delays on move-in day

King said they handed out $50 gift cards to Target at the move-in and offered to pay for tenants' lunches.

The Hub also had an incident earlier where 17 people were trapped in an elevator with an emergency button that was not working. There was no cell phone service in the elevator, so those trapped had to pound on the door until a passerby heard them and alerted management.

They were stuck in the elevator for around an hour.

Council member Aaron Stephens, who supported The Hub’s construction, put the issue on the meeting agenda after hearing complaints from multiple student groups. 

“I was terrified hearing these stories,” Stephens said. “Imagine, as an elected official, hearing the story of constituents that you’re supposed to protect being trapped in an elevator for an hour with an emergency button that does not work.”

Both tenants who spoke at the meeting said management had been unresponsive to their attempts at communication. Stephens said that he’s unsure if local management is a concern at this point, but their lack of communication is alarming.

“Management not responding to emails after being trapped in elevators, after dealing with dust issues, after dealing with any concern (is an issue),” Stephens said.

King expressed confidence in his team when asked if local management was a concern.

“No. We have confidence in our management staff. It has been a busy seven days. We’ve brought in reinforcements from our corporate office.”

Stephens said he had reached out to as many people as he could from The Hub and found the issues to be extremely widespread. 

“I can tell you just by walking through the halls and asking people, they all told me the same story,” Stephens said.

Multiple council members demanded that management reach out to every resident and offer compensation for complaints. 

Core vice president of property, Erin Perez, was also at the meeting. King told me Perez has formed a team designed to compensate for tenant issues.

“Erin and her team will follow up with them individually and they’ll investigate whatever the problem is and they’ll rectify it.”

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