Luxury high-rise in hot water after residents forced to do without it

Luxury high-rise in hot water after residents forced to do without it

UPDATED 11 a.m.:

The boiler has been fixed, and hot water is flowing again, according to Scott Manning, vice president of operations for CA Ventures.

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Original story:

CHAMPAIGN — Residents at the 18-floor HERE Champaign luxury high-rise have been without hot water since at least Sunday.

That's meant cold showers and cold water in the fifth floor's hot tub.

"It's ridiculous," said resident Jake Madary, a sophomore at the University of Illinois. "We've got cold showers, cold water for the washing machine and the dishwasher. We have to run it three times to get the dishes clean."

A fix was on the way Wednesday, said Scott Manning, vice president of operations for CA Ventures, which owns the building at 308 E. Green St., C.

"We did have an issue with our boiler," Manning said. "It went down Friday for just a few hours, and we got it up and going. But then it went down Sunday evening.

"We're working on it right now, and it should be up and going this afternoon," he said.

But for $850 a month (per person), Madary, an architecture major from Glen Ellyn, wasn't expecting he would have to take cold showers.

When he told friends he would be moving into HERE, everyone's understanding was "that this is the best building on campus."

"We signed our lease in October last year and had all year to get ready and excited for it," he said. "We came back to a disappointment."

Before the hot water stopped working, Madary said he had a less-than-optimal move-in experience last month.

"The whole room smelled like vomit," he said.

The mattress had stains, the carpet was dirty and the shower drain had a sizeable hairball, he said.

"It was disgusting," Madary said. "I stayed in a hotel the first night."

His apartment was far from the model he was shown when looking for one.

After initially trying to clean the carpet himself, he asked HERE for help.

"We had them all come in and reclean everything," he said.

He also received a new, clean mattress.

While Madary said his case is not unique, Manning said it's an isolated incident.

"I know, from talking to the property manager, that we did go back up and reclean the carpets for him. I'm confident everything has been addressed," Manning said. "This is the only issue I've been made aware of."

Madary also said there were air-conditioning problems in the common areas of the building, making it tough to enjoy the study rooms, theater and bowling alley.

Manning said this has also been fixed.

"That was an issue for a short period of time, and we got that fixed as well, for right now, and we have a permanent solution coming," he said. "But for now, it's back up and running."

He said issues like the hot water not working are bound to happen from time to time.

"It's not anything you hope to happen, but things do happen," Manning said. "We can't prevent everything, and unfortunately, this is one of those things."

Despite his complaints, Madary said HERE has been a step up from the dorms.

"It's more space, and you have a better choice of who to live with, and I have my own bedroom," he said. "Now that we're moved in, it's great."

Still, "it's just a bunch of little things that occupants shouldn't have to deal with for $850 a month," he said. "They should come in to a clean room."

When HERE opened in 2015, not everything was ready by the time students moved in, and CA Ventures had to put some residents in hotels.

But Manning said the building has been popular.

"We are 100 percent leased for this year," he said. "We leased up very early this year."

CA Ventures also owns the West Quad apartment complex at 29 E. Green St., C, which also opened in 2015.

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