“Construction is still going on in there.” Some U of M students with leases at Identity Dinkytown say they don’t plan to move in.

Tenant troubles continue at new student apartments in Dinkytown

Tenant troubles continue at new student apartments in Dinkytown

Dust piles in air vents.

Dinged up appliances.

Scratched countertops, and damaged doorframes.

Just some of the reasons why Amelia Carrizales says she isn’t moving into her Identity Dinkytown apartment.

“Yeah, I’m not going to move into Identity,” the University of Minnesota junior, a pre-med student, declares. “Just because construction is still going on there.”

Especially– she says, after doing a walk-through, where she took photos.

“Dust everywhere,” Carrizales says. “Paint is like smudged everywhere. Just really messy, scratches all over the walls.”

Instead, she and her two roommates are living blocks away– renting another apartment, after finding out Identity Dinkytown wouldn’t be ready for a move-in before the start of fall classes because of construction delays.

“You might see construction workers, noise,” Carrizales’s mother Kirsten notes. “It’s disruptive, it’s dirt.”

On September 26th, the City of Minneapolis gave the building owners— CA Student Dinkytown II, LLC— a Delaware company– the go-ahead to open three floors, issuing a temporary certificate of occupancy– and later, a rental license.

Inspectors checked things like electrical wiring, fire sprinklers, and elevators.

Both mother and daughter say Identity Dinkytown has provided them with gift cards to pay the rent in Amelia’s current apartment.

But they note they’ve also started paying rent for the apartment where she has no plans to live.

“I’ve seen some of the finished carpentry with the floorboards and trim and stuff not complete, so there are gaps,” Kirsten says. “Now these kids are having to be really concerned they’re going to have issues when they move out because there’s damage.”

Sally O’Borsky says she and her husband have already moved their son Zack, his friend Barrett, and two other roommates into a new building.  

“When we got the news that the building wasn’t going to be done, it sent everybody into kind of a tailspin, what to do,” she explains. “The disappointment that it wasn’t going to be ready, the chaos in trying to find another place to live. Now we have him settled into a spot that they’re adjusting to.”

O’Borsky says her son and his roommates are now in a building with a four-month lease, with an option to extend.  

She notes one of her biggest concerns about the Identity building is air quality– and that a recent walk-through in her son’s prospective apartment was a wakeup call.

“At least two of the boys in our group have allergies and everybody was sneezing,” O’Borsky says. “It’s the air quality, it’s just the extra stress, too. There’s enough anxiety and stress that goes into trying to be a good student.”

A City of Minneapolis spokesperson says inspectors have checked fire alarms, fire suppression systems, and elevators in the building– and that they are all working properly.

He says the stairwells, which were closed for a time, are now open.

Still, parents of at least three University students have filed lawsuits because of the construction delays.  

A hearing is scheduled in Hennepin County Court next week.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out to the building owner for comment on Friday.

CA Student Dinkytown II has not responded.    

O’Borsky says she and the parents of her son’s roommates would like some kind of resolution but aren’t sure about a path forward.

“We have not ruled out, I guess, legal action from a real estate attorney,” she says. “But I’m just worried about investing, putting even more money in this than we already have at this point.”

Kirsten Carrizales– who is not a party in any of the filed legal actions– says she hopes an arrangement can be made to get Amelia out of her lease.

“We have now started paying rent for Identity, right now she’s still in the lease,” she notes. “I don’t know if we have any hopes of getting out of the lease at this point. It’s just not something she needs to be burdened with, and then moving into an apartment building that’s not done.”

Amelia says for her, another wrinkle was that amenities in the Identity building– like a pool and a gym– are not open yet.

She adds she had hoped for better communication with the building’s owner– and says she’s planning to sublet her unused apartment before she goes to study abroad at the end of the year.

“Someone to take my lease starting as soon as possible, and just get it off my hands, because I don’t have any intention to live there,” she says. “I wish (the owner) had been more transparent with the process and when we were going to move in, and just be honestly updating us. I felt in the dark the entire time about it.”