University Plaza To Shut Down In Two Weeks - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/10/05

University Plaza To Shut Down In Two Weeks

A landmark at Texas Tech is closing its doors. Management at the University Plaza has told more than 100 of its residents to move out.

The closure is the end of a long line of events. In March, the UP's previous owners filed bankruptcy. After they failed to generate more revenue, they foreclosed July 5th. That's when the new owners took over. They say the previous owners set low rates, and because of that, they couldn't afford to make major renovations and keep operating the building. Now residents have to move out by September 1st.

"We regret to inform you the UP will not open. We're sorry." That's the sign that now greets over 100 University Plaza residents.

"It's actually kinda hard," said Texas Tech student Chris Phelin. He now has to find a new apartment after living at the UP for two years.

Management told residents Monday they're closing effective August 29th. All this comes just two weeks before students head back to school. "Being moved out like this, it's very abrupt and sudden, so it's very difficult," said Phelin.

Surrounding apartment complexes are now set up inside handing out housing information. However, many students still aren't back from summer vacation.

"I have two weeks to find somewhere to live and I'm in Houston. I have to do it all over the phone," said Morgan Cunningham who lived at the UP for five months. Cunningham says she prefers the UP because it's directly across from campus. She also likes its dorm-like atmosphere in an off campus setting.

Not only are dozens of students now without a place to live, but about ten students who worked at the UP are now also without jobs. "Currently, I work as a desk attendant here, and I have lost my job in addition to losing a home, so it's been quite difficult as well," said Phelin.

Cunningham's one bedroom is $400 a month, which includes utilities and meals. So, not only are residents forced to find other housing, but housing they can afford.  "A lot of residents are depressed and sad because this is their home, it's really sad to see this place go," said Phelin.

The businesses located beneath the building are staying put. As for the future of University Plaza, the owners are trying to sell it. No word yet on if it will remain a dorm-like apartment complex.

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