Chelsea Ebert

Residents of Pointe on Rio, located in West Campus, expected to be able to move into their apartments by Oct. 15, but many now doubt whether the construction will be complete.

Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

After being unsure about their housing situation, some Pointe on Rio leaseholders say they have been told they will be without housing after Oct. 15.

Before the start of the fall semester, future residents found their complex, located at the intersection of Rio Grande Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, still under construction. According to an email sent on July 24, the building was supposed to be completed by Aug. 16, but construction was delayed. In the email, the future residents were told the building would be ready for move in by Oct. 15.

Future residents were offered two options for living arrangements: They could opt to stay at Dobie Center with rent covered by the Pointe on Rio, or they could stay in self-funded outside housing.

Former UT student Sam Antonio, who purchased a lease at the complex and is now staying at a friend’s apartment, said Pointe leasing agents began contacting residents last week informing them that construction will most likely not be complete by October.

“Finally, last week, a Pointe staff called to inquire about my plans post Oct. 15,” Antonio said in an email. “I told him it was hard to have a clear idea without a set target date. I also told him I was open to any option whether it be staying at Pointe-provided housing or just terminating my lease altogether.”

Oscar Becerra, government sophomore and leaseholder at the complex, said he learned construction would likely not be completed by October because he directly asked a Pointe on Rio employee.

“My roommates are also Pointe residents, and they were not aware that the construction is still going to go past October,” Becerra said.

Becerra said he was told their housing would be covered while they lived in Dobie Center — even after Oct. 15.

“They offered to continue paying our rent here at Dobie as long as we don’t get off the contract, because after Oct. 15 we are allowed to get off the contract,” Becerra said. “I feel like they are really inconsistent with their word, but at the same time they are giving us the convenience of providing free housing for us.”

Heather Cox, Pointe on Rio manager, declined to comment but said they hope to make an official announcement about the construction this week.

Sociology senior Chelsea Ebert, who is a leaseholder and former employee at Pointe on Rio, said she plans to sign on another lease before Oct. 15, like some other displaced residents. Ebert, who is currently staying at Dobie, said she is confident the building will not be finished in a month.

If Pointe on Rio is completed by Oct. 15, Ebert said she will be bound to two leases.

“A lot of places have already filled to capacity, so, if I don’t sign a lease soon, I’m at risk of living 30 minutes away from campus in Round Rock or Westlake or somewhere,” Ebert said. 

Ebert met with a University attorney earlier in September, but they found no way out of the lease.

“As far as the actual legal document goes, there’s no way I could have gotten out of it at that point because they protected themselves with this lease,” Ebert said. “They put clauses in there just in case this happened.”

Pointe On Rio, located in West Campus, remains under construction despite promises to residents that work would be completed by Aug. 16. Displaced residents have been given the option of temporary housing at Dobie Center or compensation for monthly rent until completion.

Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

After a new apartment complex in West Campus delayed its opening and was unable to open in time for the fall semester, ongoing construction on the Pointe on Rio leaves residents unsure of their housing arrangements come October.

Located on Rio Grande Street, the complex was scheduled to be complete and ready for move in Aug. 16, according to Daniel Gonzalez, international relations and global studies sophomore, who signed a lease at the complex. On July 24, residents received an email from Asset Campus Housing saying the building would not be completed before the start of the fall semester, but it would be finished by Oct. 15 at the latest.

“I signed my lease very late, probably not until March or April,” Gonzalez said. “They told me the apartment would be ready by Aug. 16, and I have a feeling that at that time they understood it wouldn’t be completed by then.”

Chelsea Ebert, a former Pointe On Rio employee and sociology senior, said she quit her job because she felt the management was inadequate and dishonest to customers.

“I knew that the construction wasn’t going to be done on time looking at it,” Ebert said. “It was common sense. When people would come in asking about it, like parents wondering about it, all they would tell us to say is, ‘Yeah, we’re having a construction meeting so-and-so day. It looks like we are going to be complete on time.’”

Toni Tatarevich, a corporate communications senior who signed a lease with Pointe On Rio, said the apartment is still just a frame of a building.

“There’s not any brick on it yet, but, of course, I’m kind of like, ‘How much can you do in two months?’” Tatarevich said. “Obviously, they still have to put in all the appliances and walls, and stuff like that. It makes me a little bit uneasy but also keeping my fingers crossed.”

Heather Cox, an Asset Campus Housing representative, denied to comment on the lack of housing for students. In the email sent to its future residents July 24, Asset Campus Housing outlined two alternative options for housing — stay at the Dobie Center off-campus residence hall or receive a rent abatement worth twice the amount of their daily rent and stay at outside housing. The email did not specify where students would live after Oct. 15 if the complex is still not finished.

Jonathan Pena, a marketing senior who signed a lease at the complex, said he would rather not be living in a dorm but appreciates the management’s accommodations.

“I’m definitely not too happy about being back in a dorm, but the management is being really unselfish,” Pena said. “They’re the ones paying for our dorm here at Dobie. They got us a meal plan to cover 25 meals for us. They got a parking spot here at Dobie.”

According to Ebert, the lease can be dropped on Oct. 15, but, for the time being, she said it is not realistic to cancel the contract.

“The only way they’re letting us out of our lease is if we pay a $500 cancellation fee and then, on top of that, we find someone to sublease our apartment,” Ebert said.

Pena met with the apartment’s management Aug. 27 but said he was still uncertain about if they would be ready in October for move in.

“They’re hoping everything will be ready in time for Oct. 15, but it’s still not really 100 percent sure that it’s going to happen,”