The paper also raised questions about the whole notion of private companies building student housing at public universities:
In its 10-K form filed with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Campus Crest touted its vertically integrated platform to investors. According to the document, Campus Crest has ownership of the companies that perform every part of The Grove development process.
As Ted W. Rollins, CEO of Campus Crest, pointed out in an interview with Multi-Housing News (MHN) the company stands to benefit 100 percent from the value creation of The Grove entities.
In other words, they have a direct financial incentive to build quickly and cheaply.
A Houston personal-injury law firm, Denena & Points, already has taken note of the North Texas case. A post on the firm's blog points to negligence in the balcony collapse:
Pictures of The Grove apartments in Denton, TX show a (very) few holes where the balcony was anchored into the wall in some way. It appears that the balcony had no supportive ledger board. Or if there was one, it does not appear that it was attached in any way to the apartment wall. It is clear from the number and positioning of the holes that the balcony could not have supported much weight.
News reports of the Denton balcony collapse quote a spokesperson who emphasizes that the balconies and their railings were purely "decorative" structures attached to the building merely for aesthetic reasons. The spokesperson specifically states that the balconies were not designed to bear weight. It sounds like The Grove apartments in Denton, TX and their owner, Campus Crest, try to use this as a "defense" against the balcony collapse. But as a defense, it just doesn't seem to hold up (much like the balcony).
Could Campus Crest be facing legal fallout from the balcony collapse?