COLUMBIA - Student housing complex Aspen Heights has been in the spotlight recently after a string of crimes, safety upgrades, and now, high utility costs.
Controversy over the complex began back in 2011, when the original plan to rezone Regency Mobile Home Park's land, in order to build Aspen Heights, gained heavy media attention.
Despite heavy criticism, the request to rezone the land eventually made it through the city council. Mobile park tenants were forced out as construction workers moved in.
During construction another problem surfaced. Workers claimed they were stranded without pay during a change in contractors. More workers later claimed they had not been paid for their work on the complex either. An agreement was later reached between Aspen Heights and workers.
When leases began for the new complex July 31, 2013, many tenants could not move in as much of the construction was not finished. Aspen Heights was not completely ready to go until two months later.
After the complex opened, multiple crimes focused new attention on the apartments. Aspen Heights tried to combat crime by adding extra security measures and creating stricter rules within the complex.
Below is a timeline tracing some of the biggest stories on Aspen Heights in the past few years. Readers can navigate through the timeline by clicking on the gray buttons that appear when the mouse hovers over the frame; by using their left and right arrow keys: or by using the slider at the bottom of the timeline.
Images link to the stories published by KOMU 8 News on the selected dates.
Make sure and check our KOMU 8's latest story, on how some residents complained about $500, $600 and even $700 utility bills and how management plans to handle the problem.