EUGENE, Ore. — The new Lane Community College apartment complex downtown is undergoing a change in management.
The newly built Titan Court just had its grand opening in September, but as of right now, less than half of the available beds are filled.
The project started in a conversation with Jon Ruiz, the city manager of Eugene, LCC President Mary Spilde said. That was about 4 years ago. Less than two years ago, the project broke ground. Just a few months ago, the six-floor building welcomed its new tenants.
The building has 255 beds for any student in the area to rent out, not just those attending Lane, but right now only about 90 are being used.
Those numbers, along with the current property management company deciding to move on, had some wondering whether this mostly publicly funded $20 million project was a smart decision after all.
“Lane has a long history of being good stewards of public money. I think we’ve proven that over our almost 50-year history. This is not a concern to us that we’re making this transition,” Spilde said.
So what about the residents? Posts on the building Facebook page noted days without the amenities they were paying for.
“That was a growing pain in the beginning, but there are multiple parties involved…all parties though regardless of what it is, I have seen respond quickly to getting it resolved. It’s just an ironing out of the kinks,” said resident Kevin Loder.
So why then did the original company, Blanton Turner, decide to step away?
“I really decided that I needed to focus more on what we’re doing in Seattle, and I needed and they needed to know that Titan Court was getting the focus it deserved, because it’s a great project,” said Barry Blanton, Blanton Turner Management Co-Founder.
The group says lack of profitability had nothing to do with its decision to turn the project over. From the residents to the management, everyone has high hopes for the future of the building.
Lane Community College representatives say the building is still a good investment and like most investments, it will take some time to really see some returns.