Updated: Pointe on Rio fails to meet ADA standards, leading to fifth move-in day delay

Samantha Ketterer

After five months of temporary housing in Dobie Center and five opening-day delays — the latest of which was announced Friday afternoon — the only thing standing between Pointe on Rio leaseholders and move-in day is two incomplete sidewalks.

Friday afternoon, Pointe on Rio managers delayed move-in for the fifth time, promising residents the building would open no later than Jan. 31. Residents had planned to move into the building Saturday. 

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In an email sent to leaseholders, management said the fire marshal and building inspector declined to grant Pointe a certificate of occupancy because the building did not meet standards laid out in the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires accessibility to exit pathways. Two of the building’s wheelchair-accessible exit pathways have not been poured with concrete because of weather delays. Pointe management said leaseholders are allowed to move in as soon as the building is certified.

Move-in was originally slated for Aug. 16, 2014, then pushed back to Oct. 15, Jan. 10, Jan. 17 and Jan. 24. Pointe management attributed those delays to ongoing construction and inspection problems, although they have declined to provide comments beyond the emails sent to leaseholders.

Since August, would-be Pointe on Rio residents have been living rent-free in Dobie Center. Pointe management said temporary housing in Dobie has been extended, and leaseholders who have made rent payments will be refunded from the previous move-in date, Jan. 10, until the actual move-in day. 

Public health junior Oscar Gonzalez, a Pointe leaseholder, said the Pointe management’s handling of the delays has caused him to reconsider renewing his lease for next school year.

“In terms of customer service, if it continues to be as horrible as it has been in the past, I would definitely sign somewhere else," Gonzalez said.

Tori Smith, social work senior and leaseholder, said she does not fault Pointe management for weather-related delays but thinks managers should have made move-in preparations sooner.  

“I’ve been really frustrated because … [management] never notified anyone before the day they’re supposed to move,” Smith said. “Parents bring furniture and come up here and then have to leave. The office is blaming it on the City of Austin when it should have been done seven months ago.”  

In Friday’s email, Pointe managers said they would communicate any new information to leaseholders as soon as it is received.

“We are working very hard to do anything and everything we can to make the transition into the building as smooth as possible,” Pointe management said.