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Turtle Creek to get face-lift

Justin Tardiff | Thursday, December 9, 2004

The Turtle Creek Apart-ments will be undergoing major changes after the Apartment Investment and Management Company (AIMCO) purchased it for $11.8 million.AIMCO, the largest apartment management group in the country, took ownership of the property two weeks ago and has already made plans to improve the popular student housing complex.”We are here to serve the Notre Dame community,” Randy Fein, executive vice president of the University Communities Division of AIMCO, said. “AIMCO really gets involved in the communities where it has apartments, so we want to get involved in the South Bend community as well.”The complex, located to the east of Notre Dame, was originally put on the market in mid-September by Los Angeles-based real estate firm CB Richard Ellis for $12.25 million.Plans to improve the 192 units and much of the surrounding property are already underway.”We are going to spend $500,000 replace the kitchens to new modern-day kitchens. We’re yanking out the kitchens and putting in new appliances,” Fein said.That budget will also go toward re-carpeting, re-fencing, landscaping, instal-ling a hard-wired smoke-alarm system and other general safety and lifestyle improvements that are needed at Turtle Creek, Fein said.”[Turtle Creek is] dated. Everybody loves that location, but it’s dated,” Fein said.AIMCO was attracted to the property because of its “closest to campus” location,Fein said. The average size of a Turtle Creek apartment is 865 square feet, and the complex includes a swimming pool, sand volleyball court, picnic areas, grills and a 24-hour laundry center, among other amenities, making it a desirable place for students to live.Aware that off-campus housing units are often the sites of student parties, Fein said that AIMCO is accustomed to dealing with college students, as they own 15 university communities in seven states. He added while his management team can do nothing about drinking in apartment units, underage drinking in common areas will not be tolerated.”We operate nationwide student complexes, and we pretty much understand the student renter. We respect student rights, but we also enforce rules and regulations that are common,” Fein said. “Our intention to uphold the general traditions associated with Turtle Creek, however, at the same time, we will enforce the law.”Students were given notice before AIMCO brought in their management team to Turtle Creek. This group includes new property manager Delphina Smith, who previously managed a property in West Lafayette, near Purdue University.At this time, lease rates for Turtle Creek have not increased. Any changes will be determined in the future. “We have been renting very strongly for both the spring and for next year. I think people are excited about the improvements,” Fein said.AIMCO expressed enthusiasm about their new acquisition.”Student groups that want to use facilities or work with us in terms of leasing – we are wide open to work with anybody,” Fein said.