Apartment dwellers: expectations not met

The promise of free high-speed Internet, a soundproofing system and the largest living space in Bowling Green persuaded nearly 600 University students to sign leases with Copper Beech Townhomes last year.

But when dozens of students moved into their brand-new apartments on Napoleon and Dunbridge roads in August, they got more than they bargained for.

They got problems – and lots of them.

Crooked floors, screaming toilets, leaky windows and cracks in the walls are problems students thought they could avoid by renting new apartments.

But of 78 students questioned, 67 said Copper Beech apartment quality is poor in their opinion.

“They look great, but they’re not quite as nice as it seems,” said Jenn DiQuattro, senior, and resident of building 5. “They built it up more than it is.”

Paul Posen, a senior and a building 1 tenant, said the noise that comes from his toilet is startling.

“When I flush my toilet, it sounds like a car horn is going off in my house,” Posen said.

Three other residents complained of the same problem.

Matt Bradford, senior, who lives in building 2, said the towel rack fell off his wall after the hanging of a single towel on it.

And he recently discovered a crack near his ceiling that has meandered its way down the wall.

Building 22 resident Paul Boellner, sophomore, was showering one day when his 12-ounce shampoo bottle slipped out of his hands. It put a hole slightly smaller than the size of a softball in his bathtub.

“How cheap is this tub?” said Boellner, referring to his first thought after seeing the damage.

Beejan Savabi, executive director of sales at Copper Beech Townhome Communities, whose corporate headquarters is in Pennsylvania, said there will always be complaints.

But once management is aware of the problems, they can work to fix them. Savabi also said the bathtub incident was isolated, and somewhat out of Copper Beech’s control.

Each unit is equipped with new appliances, which are sometimes faulty. That’s what Savabi said happened in Boellner’s case.

“We’ve got over 500 kids living there, and you can’t tell me only one person dropped a bottle of shampoo,” Savabi said.

In addition to the minor problems some residents have experienced, a large majority of the students also complained their apartments weren’t soundproof like Copper Beech advertisements claimed.

Boellner, who lives on a bottom floor apartment, understands the walls aren’t going to block all noises, but expected sounds to be more muffled.

“The girls that live above me have got to weigh 100 pounds each,” Boellner said. “But it sounds like linebackers are running through their kitchen with cleats.”

DiQuattro said the advertisements touting a soundproofing system were “stretched.”

“We can hear our neighbors, and we can’t tell if they are in our apartment or not,” she said.

Copper Beech Townhome Communities, which develop, build and manage their complexes, weave insulation through the wood framing to keep sound isolated within the units. They also install soundproof boards between units, according to Savabi.

Though it’s not completely soundproof, Savabi said it’s more sound-resistant than any other apartments in Bowling Green.

“Although it’s not 100-percent soundproof, it’s above industry standard,” Savabi said.

Not everyone is dissatisfied.

Scott Curtis, a junior and a building 4 resident, is happy with Copper Beech and is considering living there again next year.

“If I had a handful of buddies, I would tell them to live here,” Curtis said.

Savabi stressed the sheer size of Copper Beech apartments is the “selling point.”