The movie High-Rise is about a luxury apartment building that descends into chaos. The film opens with shots of the trashed apartment building and a pool strewn with bodies.
A man then kills and eats a dog.
Although they aren’t eating dogs at iLume Park yet, my apartment building has experienced a rapid and sad decline.
I was so impressed with the building when I first moved in last year – we had a free happy hour every day of the week and continental breakfast in the mornings. There were dog walkers, maids, and tons of events for the residents.
They also did fecal testing / DNA profiles on the dogs, so they could fine anyone who failed to pick up after their dogs.
The building was like a boutique hotel filled with gay professionals and recent arrivals from out-of-state. It was fabulous.
But the leasing agents had trouble filling the building. They then relaxed their leasing standards, slashed deposit requirements, and started offering 2-month rent discounts to new tenants.
A waive of ratchet residents moved in. There were drug dens, dime bags in the stairwell, break-ins, fights, and gun threats. Many of the original residents fled.
Although many of the worst tenants were evicted, it was too late to stop the bleeding. The original owner began the process of selling the building, and things got even worse.
Someone rammed the parking garage gate, which then sat open for weeks and essentially meant that the building was unlocked. People’s cars started getting broken into more frequently, and we kept finding strange characters roaming the hallways.
Things get worse
The pool maintenance also went downhill. The hot tub broke and turned green. The pool bathroom door also broke and people (including myself) kept getting trapped inside. The pool area was often completely trashed, particularly on weekends when there is no maintenance staff. It is really strange seeing little kids running around trash cans overflowing with rotting food.
The hallways deteriorated as well. Dog feces, urine, and food stains caked the carpet. It wasn’t uncommon for dog crap to sit in the stairwells for days, particularly on the weekends.
The dog parks are a health hazard – the bags disappeared from the property and tenants stopped picking up after their animals. For several weeks, the dog parks had overflowing trash cans and small mountains of dog feces everywhere. Some tenants have up to four dogs, which makes for a chaotic dog park experience.
The building is so poorly maintained that we avoid the common areas and stick to our apartment. We go to the pool in the other iLume building and avoid our lobby.
Rampant crime in my building is my biggest concern – one of my neighbors had his car broken into twice in a month. Another recent brawl got so bad that a dozen cop cars swarmed the building. (Those neighbors have been reportedly evicted, according to a resident who lives by them.)
iLume Park today
Things might improve. There’s been a 100% staff turnover in a year and some of those jobs have been outsourced professional staffing companies.
The garage gate was also fixed, and the dog poop bags have returned.
None of this is enough to keep many of the current residents however. I don’t know anyone who intends to renew their lease – including us.
The decline of iLume Park has been quick and sad. Thankfully we didn’t sign a multi-year lease.