Cottages of Boone delays move-in date, inspections continue

Michael Bragg

The move-in date for The Cottages of Boone tenants has been moved from Wednesday, Aug. 15 to Sunday, Aug. 18, citing safety reasons caused by construction delays.

Tenants who were originally told they would be able to move in Wednesday received an email Monday altering them that they would not be able to move in until Sunday.

“We understand this is very disappointing news, but since we place the security and safety of our residents first, we need a few more days to ensure that The Cottages of Boone are safe and secure for our residents at move-in,” according to an email to tenants from The Cottages.

Some units underwent safety inspections conducted by the Watauga County Planning and Inspection on Tuesday, and every unit that was inspected failed.

“The bottom line is they weren’t ready to do the inspection,” said Joe Furman, director of Watauga County Planning and Inspection. “It’s not that we’re being picky. We want them to pass as bad as the students and parents.”

Furman did not have specific details regarding the inspection because he did not personally do the inspection, but he said that inspectors are visiting the site daily trying to complete inspections.

“Right now, it’s all up to [The Cottages],” he said.

The 360 affected tenants received an email in late July telling them their units would not be completed on time. During this time, residents were given two options: they could either not pay rent and find a place to live while the units were completed, or they could pay rent and live in a hotel provided by The Cottages and receive a $15 per diem credit for food.

In the original lease agreement, tenants would be able to opt out of their lease if no housing was provided within 30 days of Aug. 15.

“However, Tenant may cancel this lease if possession of the Apartment unit has not been delivered, due solely to Landlord’s inability to deliver, within 30 days of the commencement of the Term,” according to the lease.

The Cottages sent an addendum July 25, which removed that paragraph from the original lease.

When completed, The Cottages of Boone will have 894 bedrooms.

Story: CHELSEY FISHER, Senior News Reporter