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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

The District on 5th still frustrating neighbors

The+District+on+5th+still+frustrating+neighbors

Months after surrounding residents began demanding change, an off-campus student housing complex’s relationship with its neighbors remains fraught with tension.

The District on 5th, a complex in the West University neighborhood, has frustrated neighbors with noise from traffic and partying since it opened last summer. The frustration became so bad that West University residents, led by City Councilman Steve Kozachik, began pushing the property management to enforce volume control, implement routine security checks and construct a wall as a sound barrier.

However, a spokeswoman for the complex’s management team, Education Realty Trust, Inc., said the District’s management has no obligation to fulfill those requests.

EDR had no knowledge of some of the previous commitments made by the District’s original management, Campus Apartments Inc., said Susan Jennings, vice president of corporate communications and marketing for EDR. Despite its lack of knowledge about those commitments, the management team is working to make a few of the changes.

“We’re doing a number of things to help our residents and the neighborhood live in peace,” Jennings said. “Of course we want a peaceful, safe residential area for all of our neighbors at all of our different properties across the United States.

“We’re working with our residents to educate them about the different speed and traffic laws surrounding the neighborhood, as well as educating them about the agreement we have to live side by side as apartments and with roommates as well.”

The complex has been enforcing some restrictions requested by the neighborhood, Kozachik said. Security guards routinely conduct checks around the complex and limit the number of people in the pool area. The volume of speakers around the pool is also limited.

But other commitments made by Campus Apartments are being ignored by EDR, possibly because of their cost, Kozachik said.

“Right now the biggest problem is controlling traffic through the area. The students walk through the neighborhoods drunk at 2 and 3 a.m., disrupting people, and they are pissed,” Kozachik said.

It should be up to the city to step up and help raise money to control traffic, Kozachik added.

“Noise that comes from traffic, I think, is a key issue for this block,” said Stephanie Chase, a resident who lives on Fifth Avenue. “Speeding and a lot of disregard for the stop signs [occurs], so I think it would be great if we had a little turnstile there or some police.”

Besides the safety hazards and peace disturbances, the appearance of the apartment complex has caused concern for some neighbors as well.

“It just seems very thoughtless. It seemed like they were designed in a vacuum and didn’t consider the surrounding area,” Chase said. “Aesthetically it’s too long. It’s too close to the street. It’s a huge heat island. It doesn’t necessarily promote community.”

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