September 2011
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Students complain of broken promises at Main Street Commons

Bradley students and nearby residents of Main Street Commons, the new student apartment complex at the corner of Main and Bourland, have something in common: disappointment.

The Bradley Scout reported earlier this month:

Last year the apartment complex was announced as a new housing option for Bradley students and many were excited about the promises of free tanning, a swimming pool, furnished apartments, private bathrooms and flat screen TVs.

Roommates Jori Lee and Shabre Jones, both juniors, said they noticed differences between what they were told and what they actually got.

“They didn’t have a lot of the things they promised,” Lee said. “We’re going to have to use our own money to buy a router for internet when it seemed like WIFI was going to be everywhere in the building.”

Nearby residents have also noticed differences between what they were told and what they actually got. For instance, the artist’s rendering of the building showed an all-brick exterior, but what was actually put up was fiber cement siding made to look like a mix of brick and lap siding. No one was expecting it to be used partially as a freshman dorm, either.

17 comments to Students complain of broken promises at Main Street Commons

  • MW

    This project was bad news from the beginning.

  • Sharon Crews

    I’m sorry that Bradley and the city fathers and mothers were duped. I am, also, so glad that West Peoria residents voiced their concerns in time to keep this travesty off of Heading–and to leave room for the relocation of Belwood.

  • checking for details

    Cj, you seem to be implying that a half-assed something is somehow NOT better than nothing. Without such thinking we would not have the abundance of low paying jobs available through our economic development efforts, we would instead be utilizing our incentives to bring family wage jobs to the community…can’t expect the masses to know what to do with the influx in capital.
    Without such thinking we would not have a tax funded museum, instead we would have had a well thought out privately funded museum and perhaps something adding to our tax base going into the Sears block. Without such thinking we would not be on the verge on continuing support to a tax subsidized hotel, but would foster a private growth of the hotel industry. We would have to actually follow the plans made by high priced consultants and “public (ha) input”. Perish the thought of prioritizing public safety over the latest. Gosh, I bet even in your convaluded view of society, drunken council members would be tased, cuffed, and sent out to hotel Maxwell Rd when they began poking cops and asserting “authority”.

    Note the tongue in cheek….

  • joe

    Bitch, Bitch, Bitch…. looks pretty good to me. I’m thinking the vacant Walgreens was more of an eyesore.

    Some how brick is automatically better than siding?? Hate to disappoint but that brick ain’t real brick anyway. If you watched them install it it was preformed panels.

    Just cause your building is made of all brick (Harrison Homes) does not make it better.

  • merle widmer

    More broken promises. They are a dime a dozen in Peoria. Go to my site and enter “Pere Marquette” in my search bar if you wish to see what I wrote about this dubious expansion project.

  • Martin Palmer

    ” the vacant Walgreens was more of an eyesore.” Ahh yes and we also have a vacant Cubs store that is bleeding the city of cash! Midtown Plaza was one whopper of a broken promises.So somthing is better than nothing? Heck the Commons could get a payday loan store!

  • checking for details

    Joe, you are the perfect customer for any restaurant. Order something off the menu that you want and pay for, but are very happy with whatever THEY decide what you’re hungry for and more importantly what to charge you….

  • joe

    Campustown looks pretty full to me. Hard to find a spot to park sometimes. I don’t believe Main Street Commons had any public financing. If all you can find wrong with the commons is some missing fake brick and freshman living there then I would say your nitpicking and looking hard for something to complain about.

  • Chase Ingersoll

    CJ: These students are priceless…..had to buy our own router…..

  • Chase Ingersoll

    CJ: That is priceless….we had to buy our own router…

    I recall dorm life in 1985, attaching a wire to a coat hanger, taped to a broom, sticking out the window, just to un-blur the Monday night HOI signal.

    This BU kid is pretty cute too, describing Peorians as punkin pie eaters sitting the the middle of a corn-field with nothing to do but pine for a BU v over ISU.

  • Welcome to Baitandswitchville, ladies. Have you seen any iMax theaters being built on the riverfront or a glass front hotel downtown? And what do messy, pig-like neighbors have to do with what Bradley is or is not providing them and why is it part of the article?

  • Anon

    The point is that students were told that certain things would be in the building and they signed a lease and then found out they were lied to. Probably next year, the Commons will have fewer tenents. Some of you think it’s o.k. to scam students. Some places would be proud to have a highly rated university – not Peoria.

  • Bunch of spoiled rich kids have to wallow in their own internet router. So what?

    Pizza lying around in the hall and nobody does anything about it but bitch? It’s a piece of pizza. Pick it up, toss it in the trash before the ants and roaches get to it. Problem solved.

    College kids acting immaturely. Now that is news.

    An artist’s rendering does not include a materials list. Stores are accessible across the street, so why have them in the building?

    Blatantly sarcastic and intended to be so.

  • soothsayer

    This developer has had a problem telling the truth since Day 1. The fact that BU student renters were deceived is not surprising, but is unfortunate. @Fred- The developer mentioned brick several times prior to their variance requests being granted. Also, retail was a requirement for them to get Enterprise Zone status. It is a must, not an option. Pizza boxes are not the issue, but being sold one thing and getting another is “bait n swtich.”

  • Just A Resident

    Phase I was modified significantly. Phase II is probably in “file 22”. Peoria needs sensible development. Over 30 variances is not sensible development. Bigger is not always better. A building half this size would have been the solution. Did anyone ever think a building’s use is not a perpetual obligation? Financial hardships from a development like this could cause adverse use of building. For example, an upscale retirement home recently opened & now requires all applicants to apply for Medicaid. Something so grand is now predominately low income housing.

  • AdkinsDutro

    Yup. West Peoria was right to fend off this nightmare.

  • A nonymous

    Commons’ Freshman Pilot Program cancelled after first year

    Main Street Commons will be home solely to upperclassmen starting next semester.
    January 27th, 2012
    Last fall, Bradley put together a pilot program offering apartment- style housing as an option for incoming freshmen. Alan Galsky, Vice President for Student Affairs, said the program’s goal was to mimic an on-campus residential experience. After a trial semester, the university decided freshmen will no longer be allowed to live in Main Street beginning next fall.

    Galsky said a reason for cancel- ling the program was because it did not benefit enrollment.

    “Those at enrollment manage- ment found that it would not be an advantage for enrollment by continuing the program,” he said.

    Nathan Thomas, Executive Director of Residential Living and Leadership, said it was a presidential cabinet decision.

    “The belief is that [continuing the program] isn’t an enrollment strategy,” he said. “There is still value to living in resident halls.”

    Tricia Anklan, Resident Advisor for the program’s freshman floor, said she agreed there is still value in living in residential halls and believes students in Main Street Commons do not share the same experience.

    “It was difficult to replicate the sense of community that exists on freshmen floors in the residence halls,” she said. “Because residents all have their own bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, there are fewer opportunities for residents to interact.”

    Freshman mechanical engineering major Matt Heinrich agreed that living at Main Street presented disadvantages for the freshmen.

    “Based on my location, I feel like I miss out on many social events,” Heinrich said. “I also have to get up earlier to get to classes. I’m seriously considering rooming in a dorm my sophomore year.”

    Galsky said that Main Street’s negative aspects did not end the program, however. As for the future, he said it’s not determined if freshmen will ever live at Main Street again.

    Despite the sense that Main Street lacked a community feel, many students enjoy the bonus apartment living has to offer Freshman mechanical engineering major Jacob Becker said he preferred living at Main Street, favoring the extra amenities that on-campus dorms cannot offer, including fitness equipment, a media room and tanning beds.

    “I really love Main Street,” he said. “The added size is great, plus the fact that we get a full size kitchen and our own laundry facilities.”

    Becker said he would endorse Main Street to incoming freshmen. “If I had to go back and make the decision over again, I would almost definitely choose Main Street,” he said. “I realize it’s more costly, but I feel the added features more than make up for the cost.” Despite the mixed reviews, Galsky said he was pleased with the pilot program.

    “All students in the program returned to Main Street Commons after the first semes- ter,” he said. “[A Main Street freshmen] sur- vey said that midterm grades, involvement with activities on cam- pus and interaction with the RA were the same as students living in the resident halls. From an education perspective, it met our goals.”