November 20, 2017

Tenants Flock Online to Complain About Athens' Latest Luxury Student Housing Development


Photo Credit: Nicole Adamson/file

The Mark, as seen from the newly opened Firefly Trail last month.

Dozens of tenants—presumably, mostly University of Georgia students—have left reviews online saying they were taken for marks when they signed leases at The Mark, the newest of several luxury student housing developments downtown.

The Mark advertises itself as "high-end living" with "luxurious amenities"—including a golf simulator, tanning beds, game room, rooftop pool and self-serve Starbucks—and "well-appointed with luxury finishes unrivaled by other student accomodations in Athens," like granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances.

But The Mark has received just 1.6 stars out of five on Google—far lower than nearby complexes like 909 Broad (3.7), the Flats at Carr's Hill (3.9), Uncommon Athens (4.7) or The Standard (3.4), which was built by the same company as The Mark, Athens-based Landmark Properties, but is now under different ownership.

Most of the 59 reviews were posted a month or two ago. Complaints include: unfinished amenities, early-morning construction noise, long walks from living quarters to the garage, spotty internet access, leaking windows and appliances, paint- and caulk-stained carpets and bathtubs, nails popping tires, a dangerously tight parking deck, lack of hot water and sporadically working elevators.

Landmark Properties CEO Wes Rogers told Flagpole that the apartment complex has been basically finished since July:

Construction at The Mark has been complete for a few months now, with only minor punch work and repairs being done as needed since. We delivered the project ahead of schedule this past summer, and students were able to move in a few weeks before the fall semester began. The rooftop pool was a couple of weeks behind but was completed shortly after the start of classes.

In September and October, there was some construction being done for the buildout of Orangetheory Fitness located on the first floor of The Mark. Other than that, the only construction happening near the development is for the hotel that is being built adjacent to the property. We do not own that hotel or manage the construction for it.

We're always listening to our residents and working to improve, but we're encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we've received from parents and students since move-in at The Mark. Currently, the property is already roughly 50 percent pre-leased for next school year, and the vast majority of those have come from lease renewals.