Gateway does not meet all expectations

The recently opened University Gateway apartment complex does not live up to its promises of luxury living, according to many students now living in the building.

Among the complaints from residents of Gateway, located at the corner of Figueroa Street and Jefferson Boulevard, are problems with unfinished ceilings, unsanded furniture, a lack of storage space and overhead lighting, difficulty reaching management and parking woes.

Daily Trojan file photo

“I think most people can agree that Gateway promises things but does not deliver,” said Dina Nooh, a junior majoring in business administration.

In general, Nooh said, the apartments in Gateway are not built to match the quality of an apartment that costs more than $1,000 per month — the price of rent for leases signed last spring.

“The ceilings just seem unfinished; they’re uneven and have little holes [and] cracks. One of my friends said she has nails coming out of hers,” Nooh said. “There does not seem to be enough cabinets for all our stuff and the under-the-bed drawers are smaller than they look, and the desk does not come with any drawers.”

Urban Partners, LLC, the company managing Gateway, said the ceiling appearance is done on purpose to create an “urban” feel.

“With regard to the apartment ceiling concerns, they are a unique artchtectural [sic] element of the building and have been designed to create an ‘urban loft’ feel for the units,” wrote John Hrovat, partner of Urban Partners and a USC alumnus, in an e-mail.

One of the promises made to residents was the guarantee of free parking; Gateway residents receive free parking at the USC Parking Center, but parking at the actual Gateway complex costs extra money.

This, according Makhala Greene-Robinson, a sophomore majoring in business administration, was not communicated to students when they signed the lease.

“We didn’t really know where [the free parking] was,” Greene-Robinson said. “It was at the Parking Center, which was way too far.”

According to Hrovat, more than 700 parking spaces are offered at the Gateway complex and 400 spaces are located at the Parking Center, located on 35th Street and Grand Avenue.

“To ensure our residents’ convenience, our off-site parking is operated by USC and includes a shuttle service to campus and to University Gateway,” Hrovat wrote.

Another problem that students have run into, Greene-Robinson said, is dealing with management to get issues fixed in a timely manner.

“Management is just a little hard to deal with at times.”  Greene-Robinson said. “They don’t care about your issues.”

Urban Partners, however, said the number of inquiries that management is receiving is normal given the high amount of students moving in at the same time.

“We continue to make adjustments to service our residents in the best possible way and look forward to continued interaction with each of our residents,” Hrovat wrote.

Gateway is now offering leases at $899, hundreds of dollars lower than the price given to students last year.

“It was annoying that the price dropped,” said Evan, a resident who did not disclose his last name. “You’re paying a premium price.”

Hrovat said that any changes in prices are reflected by a change in amenities offered in those apartments.

“Many of the leases signed last spring were for prime units on top floors,” Hrovat wrote. “The majority of University Gateway’s most luxurious apartments were leased at higher rates [last spring].”

In general, Evan said he believes Gateway could start to improve the situation by communicating more with students.

“I would want a quicker reaction time, or actually just responding,” Evan said of complaints from tenants. “I think the management is a novice group of people, so they’re trying to figure out how it’s going to work.”

In response to the influx of inquiries, Gateway management is working to create a more efficient system for giving feedback to students.

“We are also eliminating desktop computers in favor of tablet laptops so that the property’s staff can better respond to concierge desk requests and can interact directly with the resident,” Hrovat said.

15 replies
  1. Disillusioned....
    Disillusioned.... says:

    Oh, and you know what else? When I moved into my “brand new” apartment, I found out it had already been occupied. You know how I found out? There were popcorn kernels ground into the living room apartment, a bag full of trash in the kitchen, long black hairs in the shower and sinks, and, I kid you not, used feminine hygiene products crumpled up in the bathroom cupboard.


  2. Disillusioned....
    Disillusioned.... says:

    Attention DT: management blatantly lied to you when they said that the more expensive leases are for “prime” units on the top floors. I live in a horrible unit on the 4th floor–next to the alarmed staircases and the breezeway where, since there is NO service in the building, people talk on their cell phones all night–and I’m paying $1,030 a month. Prime unit my ASS. I am paying $130 more than my roommate to live in the same apartment. How is that okay?

  3. Dissapointed
    Dissapointed says:

    Another gateway tenant here. Pretty much every resident I’ve spoken to so far has a list of complaints/and or disappointments. I’ve already begun to advise people I know not to sign leases here for spring or next year simply to save them from having to go through with what we have. This place made a ton of promises to all of us just to get us to sign and didn’t follow through. As someone else said, this place fooled us all with their marketing.

  4. Go Gateway
    Go Gateway says:

    This place is great! I love my suite mates and I feel special living here. It convienent and high end. When I have told people on campus I live here they all say how lucky I am and how they want to live here next year. Maybe instead of complaining you should address your concerns and offer insight to change.

    • Pathetic
      Pathetic says:

      Nice try by a Gateway rep here to try and save face. Pure desperation. Face the facts, this place has not delivered on any of it’s promises!

  5. Gateway Resident
    Gateway Resident says:

    you guys went way too easy on them in the article. After you sign a lease here they no longer care about you. worst service ever. Trying to talk to management is like talking to a f***ing door. If you get in an elevator here and ask anybody what they think of the building you’ll get a real idea. They promissed us the world and they’re literally bending us over and f***ing us from behind.

  6. Connor Nickell
    Connor Nickell says:

    Well, one thing I should say is that they are listening to what we are saying. They called me within the hour of my post yesterday and fixed many of my issues no longer than an hour later. They actually really do want to help is what it seems like and the people that came and helped were all very nice

  7. Angry Student
    Angry Student says:

    Luxury Living???? Gateway is a joke. False promises and scams! I wouldn’t be surprised if this place is empty next year. I won’t be living here.

    Very angry and disappointed!

  8. JJ Man
    JJ Man says:

    I agree completely with all of the complaints. Gateway has been nothing short of abysmal in their attempts to manage this building. Much false advertising coupled with unprofessionalism and slashed prices will ensure that they have few returning tenants who signed early.

  9. Get it Together
    Get it Together says:

    “We are also eliminating desktop computers in favor of tablet laptops so that the property’s staff can better respond to concierge desk requests and can interact directly with the resident,”

    How will this improve anything? The staff needs to be trained properly and the horrible peer to peer communication system wastes a lot of time

    “With regard to the apartment ceiling concerns, they are a unique artchtectural [sic] element of the building and have been designed to create an ‘urban loft’ feel for the units,”

    A horrible excuse for pouring cost-effective concrete slabs that are cracking and have many serious imperfections.

    As far as management, they say they are really busy and that your concerns will be addressed shortly as they begin to unwrap promotional t shirts.

  10. pstar
    pstar says:

    what does usc have to say about all of these housing woes people are having? it’ll be hard to get their opinion on it, but if the DT can do it, then it would good to know if these sort of issues r why USC would like to control the local housing market.

  11. bad business
    bad business says:

    Gateway is quickly gaining a reputation for not having principles or ethics when it comes to good business. I was disappointed when I heard about the drastic drop in rent price. It’s simple, when you promise something to your customers, especially those who are loyal and sign leases early on (like my apartment and many of our friends did last year), you should keep your promises. What kind of message does it send to us when we hear that prices are slashed at the last minute to draw more residents in (who are probably less likely to keep their leases next year when they find another cheaper last-minute housing deal anyway), when we signed up early and are paying $150/month more? The lack of principles, not even the difference in price, is what upsets me the most. Gateway’s actions are basically telling us all to wait until the last minute and see if they’ll drop the price again. That really doesn’t seem like the best way to keep customers.

    Also I, like many other residents I know, was completely under the impression that the all retail shops downstairs, the amenities we are paying so much to utilize, would be completed when we arrived this fall. So far, there are only two ready. Again, this is not the first time that Gateway has been vague with the details. They need to figure out what kind of image they would like to present to the USC community, because so far it has not been an entirely positive or promising one.

  12. Gateway, listen up
    Gateway, listen up says:

    Gateway promised either a bike or a $150 Visa Gift Card (your choice) when my roommate and I signed our lease. We even signed something to ensure that we would get this. When we asked about this, they said they were not responsible for this promotion – it was done by their old management. That seems a little ridiculous considering the fact that companies change management all the time but don’t compromise customer satisfaction.

    Also, they won’t offer any sort of discount on parking in their lot, even though it’s probably not even 1/3 full. When I asked about this, the reaction I got from one of the Gateway employees was extremely aggressive and just rude. Learn how to treat your first set of residents, or you’ll have an empty building next year.

    And a correction – the USC Parking Lot is not free – its $37.50 a month. I’m sure Gateway is giving this parking free to some residents, though, because they specialize in giving discounts to certain individuals and not to others.

    Oh, and my roommates don’t have light in their shower, so they’re forced to shower in the dark. This is a brand new building – what’s the excuse? And when we went down to put in the work order, we were told that they “haven’t gotten to it yet.” The lady at the front desk then pointed to a HUGE stack of other work orders…

    I’d like to hear what Gateway has to say about all of this.

  13. Connor Nickell
    Connor Nickell says:

    Gateway basically is trying to put lipstick on a fat pig. They’re all show and marketing, but no actual superior product.

    Gateway met NONE of mine or my roommates expectations. We were promised the world by our leasing officer and when you actually move in, it’s a straight jab to the gut. The premium lofts they refer to don’t even exist, there is very little variable difference between the sizes of the apartments, this point that gateway is making is pure spin. The beds feel like they were made for 8 year olds, not college students. What’s worse, is that the whole benefit of supplied furniture is just a guise because they won’t store it for you if you don’t actually want to have the baby bed. You’d think that a premium loft that costs 1100 per bed would at least have amenities like hot water for the showers. Gateway does not. It purposely cuts off the heating at quarter power to most likely cheap out on the residents. Curious, when the first students they ever have are pretty important for their success. It would have been nice if they had a pool or something in one of those huge courtyards, but instead it looks more like a massive concrete breezeway.

    Gateway is Soviet living at its finest.

  14. Upset with Gateway
    Upset with Gateway says:

    I suggest all of us that signed early and are paying a much higher rate, boycott signing next year unless it is lower than the published rate. Also, I suggested they give us free parking since the said they could not ‘change the lease’ and they couldn’t do that either. WIll NOT be at Gateway next year and will suggest friends stay away, unless they address some of our concerns.

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