TARGET 8: Structural damage forces residents from The Domain
COLUMBIA - Some residents of The Domain at Columbia are being forced to relocate because settling has caused heavy damage.
During a Monday night meeting, angry residents confronted the regional director of Campus Advantage, who said repairs to building eight would focus on apartments 106 and 107 first.
Scott Sedgwick said safety is not a concern and the residents will be moved only because repairs will be disruptive.
"It is absolutely safe," he said.
One resident of building eight, who asked to be anonymous, provided KOMU 8 News with audio of the meeting. Listen to complete recording.
It features a tense conversation in which tempers flare more than once. Many people complained about problems that occurred during past repairs and expressing concern that the situation will be worse when drilling starts to add support piers to the foundation of building eight.
"We're going to hear it. I was here when they were doing the other construction and it was not a pleasant place to live in," said the resident who spoke to KOMU 8 News, "It was constant noise, the building would shake from all the drilling and breaking into the ground, there were constantly people going in and out and walking around."
Sedgwick said Campus Advantage was not aware of the extent of settling problems when if obtained the property. He said repairs could cost about $1.4 million.
"There are some issues during the sale that were never shared with Campus Advantage," he said.
He said he commiserates with residents.
"I know it sucks. It sucks for us as well," he said. "We were kind of pulled into a bad situation. We've come up with a plan that will at least make a bad situation tolerable."
Sedgwick told residents there should be no more settling.
"It's done all it's going to do, but it's still done enough that it's created substantial problems for you guys and us as well."
The resident who spoke to KOMU 8 News said there have been severe problems with settling since August. Several people have provided photos of damage inside their apartments. See pictures.
The resident said she and others had an independent contractor look at such photos.
"He was actually able to do a sketch of the building and look at it and say well the building is sinking so once we finally called them and said ‘is the building sinking?' They said yes."
Developers billed The Domain as a student luxury apartment when construction started in 2012. With a full-swing golf simulator, a game room and a theatre, apartments filled quickly before the complex even officially opened.
City engineer Phil Teeple said the site has a long history of degrading, because it's a clay soil substance.
"We've known about this problem since The Domain first opened," he said.
Mark Evans, public relations spokesman for Campus Advantage, which owns The Domain said eight people will be relocated during repairs.
Residents of apartments 106 and 107 will be put up in a hotel for the duration and will be provided a meal per diem, transportation and laundry services.
Sedgwick said repairs on apartments 106 and 107 could last as many as 40 days. Repairs to damage on other floors will take place during a second phase. Residents of building eight who are not being relocated will be compensated $75 per month for noise compensation.
Evans said, "We have more than 700 residents on the property. We are trying to minimize the window that they are going to be impacted."
Move out will be between April 11 and April 17. Sedgwick said drilling will happen from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Work will be halted during finals week. Work on apartments on the second and third floors is scheduled for June.
Evans provided KOMU 8 News an email sent to Sedgwick from Allstate Consultants stating the firm monitored the condition of the building on Dec. 9, 2014; Jan. 9, 2015; Feb. 9, 2015 and March 9, 2015.
Below is audio of the Monday night meeting recorded by a resident.
Below are pictures of apartments at The Domain of Columbia