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Turtle Creek owners remodel apartments

Laura Baumgartner | Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The stone turtles will remain, but after renovations at Turtle Creek Apartments are completed, there will be many other major exterior and interior changes – part of an effort to improve the quality of life at the complex for all residents.

Management at the complex across the street from campus says the apartments will undergo a total makeover this summer. Kitchens, bathrooms, unit interiors, floors, common areas and lighting will be redone and replaced in all units, Turtle Creek community manager Tammie Schmuhl said. Other interior changes detailed on the apartment complex’s Web site included the remodeling of cabinets in the units, and the addition of new carpeting and fresh coats of paint in common area hallways. There will also be many exterior modifications ranging from painting the buildings, replacing exterior doors, changing the signage throughout the complex, landscaping improvement and new grills and picnic tables around the pool area.

Schmuhl said the changes are part of a long-term plan created by AIMCO University Communities after the company purchased the property in 2004.

“Remodeling is something we do whenever we purchase a property, basically to make it a better place to live,” she said.

Renovations at Turtle Creek began last year with costs totaling $580,000, and will be continued throughout 2006, Schmuhl said. She said the total cost of revamping the complex will be $1,164,000 when the work is completed. However, the cost of redoing Turtle Creek will not affect rental rates for next year, she said, because the rates have already been set.

“We’re just trying to improve the property,” she said, “At this point we want to make it the best it can be for everyone that lives here.”

Due to its close proximity to Notre Dame’s campus, Turtle Creek has traditionally been a popular option for off-campus living among students. Schmuhl said she “certainly hopes” students continue to consider Turtle Creek “the best place in South Bend to live” after the renovations are completed, due to its closeness to campus and the various amenities the complex offers its tenants, she said.

“Students deserve the best of everything and that’s what they’re going to get,” she said.

Since many of the residents at Turtle Creek are students, the complex has become known for having a strong social life – a factor that attracts some students to Turtle Creek while causing others to avoid it.

Saint Mary’s junior Meggie Wehmer said she considered living at Turtle Creek because it has a reputation for being “a fun place to live where there is always something going on socially.” However, she said after taking into account various options she chose to rent a house with several of her girlfriends.

“I decided to live in a house because I wanted something that would be more quiet,” she said. “It gives me the chance to live with my friends in a house, who knows when and if I will get to do that again.”