UMass Lowell announced this week residents of the Perkins Park Complex will have until May 2017 to find new places to to live.
I reached out to the school to get some basic information about the purchase along with some questions and answers tenants have plus a short explanation of the economic impact in the schools view: Due to space limitations I have to edited the response.
Thanks so much for providing the opportunity for UMass Lowell to provide some information regarding the acquisition of the Perkins properties. I’m sorry that we aren’t able to have someone on the show live, but greatly appreciate that you offered that, as well.
UMass Lowell is committed to working with tenants and doing what we can to make this transition a smooth one. The university has committed to honoring all current leases and will permit lease extensions or renewals through May 2017, giving tenants up to one full year from the initial notification to coordinate their transition. The university has set up a service center to answer any tenant questions and is working with multiple parties, including other rental property owners and moving companies, to identify supplementary offers of assistance. Those offers will be communicated to tenants as they are finalized.
We understand what the tenants are facing and how disappointed they are. No one wants to have to move from their home and especially when it is not by choice, which is why we are committed to doing what we can over the next year to make the transition as smooth as possible, as noted above, including lease flexibility and relocation packages.
The university has also set up a website, www.uml.edu/perkins, that offers more information for tenants (and anyone interested), including offers from local rental property owners. I believe there is only one there now, but we expect to add more soon.
Perkins Properties Acquisition by UMass Building Authority June 3, 2016
Purchaser: UMass Building Authority on behalf of UMass Lowell
Properties: Residences at Perkins Park, Lofts at Perkins Park, Hoff Center, Ames Parking Facility (1 Perkins St., 21 Perkins St., 39 Perkins St., 40 Perkins St. and 65 Perkins St.)
Status: Agreement in principle
Purchase price: $61.5 million
Closing: July 2016
Tenant Notification: Tenants received notice of the acquisition on June 3, 2016
Tenants will receive reimbursement for moving expenses
Tenants will receive a lump sum payment equal to one month’s rent
All current leases will be honored under their current terms and some leases may be extended beyond their expiration on a month-to-month basis with a waiver of the “tenant at will” fee
UMass Lowell intends to retain the existing property management company to manage relocation services
UMass Lowell will work with similar apartment properties in Lowell to encourage rental incentives for relocating tenants
Questions and Answer regarding Transaction & UMass Lowell Plans
1. When is UMass buying the property?
1. UMass expects to complete the purchase in July.
2. What is UMass Lowell buying?
2. The Lofts at Perkins Park, the Residences at Perkins Park, the Ames Garage and adjacent surface parking lots, and the Hoff Advancement Center Building.
3. What does the university plan to do with the property?
3. UMass plans to convert the apartments to a student residence hall in Summer 2017 for occupancy starting in the Fall of 2017. It will continue its current use of the Hoff Center Building.
4. When will students move in?
4. UMass does not plan to convert the property to a residence hall until Fall of 2017.
5. Will any students move in before Fall 2017?
5. UMass does not plan to move students into the property prior to the Fall of 2017.
6. Will the university meet with tenants to discuss its plans?
6. The university has scheduled office hours and the times will be communicated to tenants.
7. Will my lease terms change?
7. No. The university will honor the provisions of the existing leases for the duration of their terms.
8. Will my rent change?
8. No. The university will continue the current rent terms as provided for in existing leases for the duration of the lease terms.
9. My lease expires soon, can I renew?
9. The university will not be renewing leases, but will entertain requests to convert expiring leases to month-to- month through the Spring of 2017. The university will waive the lease provisions that apply fees to month-to-month extensions.
10. Who do I contact regarding lease renewals and month-to-month extensions?
10. The property management company.
11. If I find a place to move before my lease expires, will you allow me to break my lease?
12. Do I have to move immediately?
12. No. Lease terms will be honored.
13. When do I have to move?
13. The university will not be renewing leases, but will entertain requests to convert expiring leases to month-to- month through the Spring of 2017. The university will waive the lease provisions that apply fees to month-to-month extensions.
14. Will the university pay my moving costs?
14. Yes. The university will either reimburse displaced tenants for actual, documented, and reasonable moving costs or provide a lump sum payment for moving expenses calculated based on the size of the unit.
15. Will the university provide any relocation compensation other than moving costs?
15. The university will pay each displaced household the equivalent of one month’s rent to assist with security deposits or other start-up costs for a new lease.
16. How much will my total relocation payment be?
16. It will be one month’s rent plus actual, documented, and reasonable moving expenses or one month’s rent plus a lump sum payment for moving expenses.
17. Will anyone help me find another apartment?
17. The university is negotiating with the management company to provide relocation assistance. The university is also reaching out to other property owners to encourage them to offer incentives for relocating tenants from the Perkins properties.
18. Will I get my security deposit back when I move?
18. Security deposits will be returned to departing tenants consistent with the applicable lease provisions.
The new use places 700 students (there are currently approx. 250 units in the building) within walking distance of downtown, one of the goals of the College Town Initiative
The significant increase to the number of student residents on East Campus combined with the acquisition of the Notini & Sons property and the construction of University Suites establishes a more complete East Campus and is likely to spur ancillary private development, particularly at Cox Circle
The $321,000 in annual property tax payments from the property is more than offset by properties supported by recent university leasing activity, including Riverview Suites and 110 Canal Street