Greenville student apartments go into foreclosure amidst concerns

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – With a new class of ECU Pirates scheduled to move to Greenville in less than two months, one student apartment complex is going into foreclosure.

Captain’s Quarters, formerly known as North Campus Crossing, filed for foreclosure on June 17. Court records show the complex hadn’t made payments since November 2015, and owes more than $26.2 million.

Occupancy rates are rumored to be around 13 percent, so low that the complex is offering free cruises for students who sign with them.

The foreclosure has led some Greenville leaders to question whether or not this is just a sign of things to come. Councilmen McLean Godley and P.J. Connelly both point at the student living marketplace being over-saturated in Greenville.

In a statement, Godley said the foreclosure, “is a result of councils’ of years past who rubber stamped student housing requests while not taking their time to foresee their effects on our community.”

But Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas isn’t quick to point to a possible over-saturation.

“It’s more of a result of maybe where they’re actually located and other variables that we don’t understand financially, how they managed their property,” he said.

With the addition of The Boundary, and construction starting for a new 10th St. complex and the Sidewalk Development project, hundreds of student rooms will be added in Uptown alone over the next few years.

“What that means for the city and the overall marketplace is a challenge East Carolina University has an interest in, but we’re not building that housing,” said Aaron Lucier, who oversees on-campus housing at ECU. He added they have the capability of housing about 5,700 students on-campus. Even with expected enrollment growth in the future, he said student housing is plentiful. “We keep an eye at the overall occupancy for the housing system, but also look at what the marketplace has here in Greenville and there really isn’t a need.”

With the large Captain’s Quarters complex facing trouble, Mayor Thomas is pointing at an alternative plan that could help alleviate some problems.

“We would most definitely encourage them to take full advantage of a professional housing set up literally minutes away from our largest industrial park,” Thomas said.

U.S. Bank National Association made the highest bid for the complex at $24.6 million. That bid could still be upset by a higher one.

WNCT called the Captain’s Quarters but were quickly told no one could comment on the situation. Other student complexes in Greenville report between 80 and 100 percent occupancy rates.

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