Haven issues first refund


The stop work order was placed at the main door of the complex, where it remains. Photo credit: Photo by Laura Figi

Laura Figi

Editor’s note: multiple attempts were made to contact Haven management—local and corporate—via email, phone and in person. Haven PR director Mark Evans has repeatedly refused comment. Several attempts were also made via email and phone to contact the City of San Marcos with no response.

Haven on Thorpe Lane has issued its first refund to leasers who were required to pay their first month’s rent last summer, but have been unable to move into the apartment complex.

Haven made claims to open in time for the fall 2019 school year but the complex has continually delayed move-in since August.

The refund was given Dec. 5 to April Lorenz-Burke, mother of Keegan Lorenz-Ochoa, but the family is still locked into their lease.

Lorenz-Burke said Haven management told her in order to be released from the lease, they would have to sign a nondisclosure agreement which would barre them from leaving any negative reviews or comments.

Lorenz-Burke’s lawyer has advised them not to sign the agreement.

“I feel like they’re bullying these kids who don’t have another option but to sign these nondisclosures,” Lorenz-Burke said. “They need a place to live—a permanent place to live.”

In addition, a stop work order was placed on the door of Haven Nov. 22 by the City of San Marcos until the complex is able to obtain the correct permits to continue.

The order states the electrical, plumbing and fire sprinkler contractors at Haven have “notified the City of San Marcos that they are no longer performing work on this project and have placed their permits on hold.”

No further work is permitted until the correct electrical, plumbing and fire sprinkler corrections have been obtained.

According to the “Haven on Thorpe Lane is a Joke!!” Facebook page, Haven is releasing residents on a case by case basis if they do not have someone who is willing to take over the existing lease.

Lorenz-Ochoa has since relocated to an apartment complex after living in an RV park. He said he wished Haven had been honest with him while he was locked into the lease.

“I never thought people would be out to get you but these guys are,” Lorenz-Ochoa said. “Tell me the truth.”

Blake Brewen, computer information systems junior, has been living temporarily at The Woods after his lease at Haven on Thorpe Lane was delayed. Brewen transferred to Texas State from the University of Texas at Tyler and said he is disappointed by how students are treated in San Marcos.

“Student housing as an entire industry is blatantly corrupt,” Brewen said. “Students are signing leases for the first time, they’ve never had to deal with housing prior, so they’re getting blatantly ripped off by these housing units. (Apartments) know no one will really come after them if they screw over the students.”

Leasers still receive weekly email updates. The Nov. 26 update stated, “Construction is working with the City of San Marcos to schedule final inspections and will notify us of the anticipated date of those inspections when received from the city.”

The update also stated, “final cleans continue in buildings 1, 2 and 3” and they anticipate a move-in date “no later than the end of December.”

Imogene Daily, theater sophomore, said she thought Haven was going to be completed by Thanksgiving.

“At this point, I honestly can’t say I’m surprised,” Daily said. “The uncertainty that they’ve kept us under has been unfortunate.”

Management has also been criticized for sending out construction updates that contradict the actual state of the building. Future residents received a construction update via email Sept. 3 that stated floors two, three, four and five were “clean complete.” Construction workers and trash could be seen by passerbyers on balconies of several floors on Sept. 6.

The stop work order remains in place, though according to an email from Jerretta Pate, mother of someone who leased at Haven, they have hired a new electrician and are unsure of the completion date.

The Haven on Thorpe Lane apartment complex was an advertising partner with The University Star during the 2018 and 2019 school year. The University Star will continue to update this story as information becomes available.

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