News

Department of Residence Halls takes over Village management

One University Village “resident” will be saying goodbye to the apartment community this Thursday.

JPI, a Dallas-based firm that manages luxury and student residences around the country, has overseen the management of the Village for the past year. But on July 26, the Department of Residence Halls took over the management and operations of the Village, which began opening its newly-constructed doors last September-a month and a half after the expected date.

UM originally outsourced management of the Village in order to save money, said Gilbert Arias, assistant vice president for Student Affairs. Arias told The Miami Hurricane that JPI and UM have parted ways after “an amicable termination of the agreement.” He noted when the two parties initially signed the contract, both were given the option to leave the agreement after one year.

“It was a business decision to hire JPI because they had extensive experience,” Arias said. “We wanted students to feel like they were living in and renting their own apartments.”

In addition to leaving UM, Arias said JPI also plans to pull out of the entire on-campus student-living market. This will include communities at schools such as the University of Central Florida, Georgetown and University of California Los Angeles. Before this decision, JPI managed more than 202 properties and 52 student living communities, including the Village.

Arias said JPI did not give a specific reason as to why they decided to leave UM. The Hurricane contacted Stacie Mendelson, Village manager under JPI, but she said she could not disclose any information regarding the company’s recent decision.

Likewise, Sherry Green, a representative from JPI Student Living Corporate Headquarters said, “It is JPI’s policy that we do not give interviews.”

One noticeable change students will see with the handover to Residence Halls will be that students must call 8-CARE (8-2273) for maintenance problems, instead of the Village office. Also, the leasing office will now be open on Saturday, in addition to Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Residence Halls has yet to receive any complaints from students regarding the Village, and plans to monitor all phone calls placed to 8-CARE to ensure that problems are dealt with efficiency.

Arias also said that, as of now, students will continue to sign a 12-month lease to live in the Village, but he will review certain polices and procedures regarding the Village, which may affect the leasing term in the future.

In addition to new management, The University Village started off the school year in the newly completed leasing office, adjacent to the new mailroom. Both the north and south garages have been completed, and Arias expects the completion of the convenience store to be sometime during the fall.

Plans are also underway to repave the streets during September in order to minimize flooding.

Greg Linch also contributed to this report.

Karyn Meshbane may be contacted at k.meshbane@umiami.edu.

August 27, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.