The Avenue, a brand new apartment complex for University of Maine students, is located directly between two other college apartment complexes, Orchard Trails and The Reserve, previously known as The Grove.
The Avenue has a variety of different apartment layouts and is completely full after the first semester of school with only a few open spots left for the upcoming academic year.
Haley Dillon, a senior at UMaine, decided that The Avenue was where she wanted to live for her senior year. “It’s safe and everything works, unlike The Grove and my house last year. Everyone at the front desk is really helpful,” she continued. “Our maintenance requests are always fixed, it has a shuttle bus to campus that is awesome for me. The clubhouse always has free food or something going on and it’s a great place to do my homework.”
But some residents had difficulty with the complex’s heating and have been unsatisfied with how long it took for the management to address these concerns. Residents were eventually provided with a space heater and are being compensated for the extra electricity and gas it uses. Residents with a space heater get credited $2.17 a day, for each of days the space heater was in the unit for that month, as well as a $10 gas credit each month.
Still, these students say, their experience has been mostly positive.
Others haven’t been quite so lucky. Micky Quimby, a resident of The Avenue, also complained about the heating for the four bedroom townhouses. “It’s made with really cheap materials so everything falls apart super easy. I’ve had so many things break here for absolutely no reason and maintenance barely knows what they are doing when they come to fix it,” Quimby said.
Further, a third-year student that lives at The Avenue has had a number of issues with her roommates. She failed to receive what she considered an appropriate response after reaching out to management for assistance.
After management refused to allow the student to change apartments, she got her family involved and even considered contacting the Orono Police Department. The resident and her family told management that if the living situation got any worse, they would call the cops. “Go ahead, [call the cops],” The Avenue management told them. “We have situations like this every day here. We have roommates who have restraining orders against each other.”
“I finally signed a lease to move after The Avenue originally refused until I told them about some of the other stuff my roommate had done,” the resident explained. “She stole food and clothes from all of us, created a hostile living environment, broke stuff in the apartment, and was just awful.”
On Facebook, The Avenue at Orono has a total of 71 reviews. Of those, 52 reviews are five stars, eight of them are four stars and 11 reviews are one star, averaging 4.3 stars. Most of these reviewers had only positive things to say about the new complex.
One resident rated five stars and said they loved living at The Avenue. “The folks at the clubhouse are always respectful and willing to help. They always have activities going on for residents to be able to interact with each other. Whether it’s the amount of free stuff they hand out, or their spacious apartments, it’s definitely the best apartment place to live in Orono. I’m very glad I signed a lease here, and plan on resigning next year!”
Another resident that rated five stars said, “Great place. Everything is as promised. Same day or next day on maintenance requests. Nice gym and free coffee on my way to work in the morning. Staff is nice and always willing to take care of things and ensure that their tenants are happy.”
But there were some negative reviews as well. One resident described The Avenue as the worst place they’ve ever lived. “Management is terrible. It’s seems as if they hired the first person that walked off the street. They will charge you for the smallest things and when you try to consult them about it they’ll just disregard everything you say and continue to fine you. It’s just a big corporation that wants to get as much money out of their tenants as possible.”
Another reviewer said, “If you want to be cold every night, have nothing to do, and also witness the police at the complex breaking up a fight every weekend, then this is the place to live. If not, do not sign a lease with the Ave.”
The Avenue is already mostly full for the 2017-2018 season.