Pointe on Rio leaseholders say construction delays likely to continue

Eleanor Dearman

After being unsure about their housing situation, some Pointe on Rio leaseholders say they have been told they will be without housing after Oct. 15.

Before the start of the fall semester, future residents found their complex, located at the intersection of Rio Grande Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, still under construction. According to an email sent on July 24, the building was supposed to be completed by Aug. 16, but construction was delayed. In the email, the future residents were told the building would be ready for move in by Oct. 15.

Future residents were offered two options for living arrangements: They could opt to stay at Dobie Center with rent covered by the Pointe on Rio, or they could stay in self-funded outside housing.

Former UT student Sam Antonio, who purchased a lease at the complex and is now staying at a friend’s apartment, said Pointe leasing agents began contacting residents last week informing them that construction will most likely not be complete by October.

“Finally, last week, a Pointe staff called to inquire about my plans post Oct. 15,” Antonio said in an email. “I told him it was hard to have a clear idea without a set target date. I also told him I was open to any option whether it be staying at Pointe-provided housing or just terminating my lease altogether.”

Oscar Becerra, government sophomore and leaseholder at the complex, said he learned construction would likely not be completed by October because he directly asked a Pointe on Rio employee.

“My roommates are also Pointe residents, and they were not aware that the construction is still going to go past October,” Becerra said.

Becerra said he was told their housing would be covered while they lived in Dobie Center — even after Oct. 15.

“They offered to continue paying our rent here at Dobie as long as we don’t get off the contract, because after Oct. 15 we are allowed to get off the contract,” Becerra said. “I feel like they are really inconsistent with their word, but at the same time they are giving us the convenience of providing free housing for us.”

Heather Cox, Pointe on Rio manager, declined to comment but said they hope to make an official announcement about the construction this week.

Sociology senior Chelsea Ebert, who is a leaseholder and former employee at Pointe on Rio, said she plans to sign on another lease before Oct. 15, like some other displaced residents. Ebert, who is currently staying at Dobie, said she is confident the building will not be finished in a month.

If Pointe on Rio is completed by Oct. 15, Ebert said she will be bound to two leases.

“A lot of places have already filled to capacity, so, if I don’t sign a lease soon, I’m at risk of living 30 minutes away from campus in Round Rock or Westlake or somewhere,” Ebert said. 

Ebert met with a University attorney earlier in September, but they found no way out of the lease.

“As far as the actual legal document goes, there’s no way I could have gotten out of it at that point because they protected themselves with this lease,” Ebert said. “They put clauses in there just in case this happened.”