College Life Latest Issue

December 8, 2011 at 5:07 am

5 worst places to live on campus


The Balcony Apartments, 1504 W. Kilbourn Ave.

Despite drawing prospective renters with the lure of a balcony and prime campus location, some residents are complaining.

John Simon, a senior in the College of Business Administration, believes he pays way too much for what he gets.

“The place has been completely neglected for the past 20 years,“ Simon said. “The kitchen ceiling fell in a few weeks ago; it could have killed us. Then it took our landlord a week to clean it up.“

One of Simon’s roommates, Tony Tholl, a senior in the College of Business Administration, is also disappointed.

“We have a large front window that would be ideal for letting in light and air but it was installed wrong because it shattered one time when we tried to open it,“ Tholl said.

Despite calls and letters, Tholl said the landlord has yet to replace the glass. The Balcony Apartments landlord failed to respond to calls.


Gilman Building, 1621 W. Wells St. 

While living above Murphy’s Irish Pub does have its perks, Meghan McDonough, a graduate student who lived there last year, said there’s never a quiet night Wednesday through Saturday.

“Our furniture shook from the music,” McDonough said. “Our bathroom smelled of popcorn because it was right above the popcorn machine.”

But she says the absolute worst part was the smoke.

“When we first moved into the building, you could still smoke in Murphy’s and our apartment always reeked of smoke,” she said.

According to McDonough, living above Murphy’s may have been smelly and loud, but the location provided easy access to the bar and she said the rent was affordable.

The landlord of the Gilman Building failed to comment on the property.


The Reeves, 848 N. 14th St.

Elizabeth Heebink, a junior in the College of Communication, lived in The Reeves this past summer and hated it.

“At The Reeves I paid $560 (a month), and that was completely overpriced for the conditions,” Heebink said. “Everything was old and gross, particularly the kitchen and bathroom … the hallway outside my apartment smelled awful, and there was no air conditioning.”

But Heebink thought the worst thing about living in The Reeves was being so close to a fraternity house.

“They were always so loud, even on weeknights when I was trying to go to bed early,” she said. “Typically noise would tone down around 10 p.m., but they would still be yelling.”

The landlord of The Reeves failed to comment on the property.


1007 N. 14th St.

Cody Moore, a junior in the College of Business Administration, lives north of State Street in a home owned by S.G. Properties LLC. Landlord Ray Gastrow said he has been working in the field for 17 years.

“We try to provide as nice, clean, affordable and safe of a house to Marquette students as possible,“ Gastrow said. “Hopefully they show the house the respect we show them.“

But one major concern, Moore said, is the major lack of pedestrian traffic in the neighborhood, which makes many worry about walking home late at night.

According to Moore, the Department of Public Safety provides a security blanket around the outskirts of campus, especially north of State Street.

While the house is large and Moore and his roommates have plenty of room, the long walk to class and the surrounding area’s lack of safety could dissuade others from living there.


The Toolbox, 925 N. 15th St.

Stewart Whealon, a junior in the College of Business Administration, lives in the “Toolbox,“ which, he said, is riddled with structural problems. Not only is there a single bathroom for its six residents, the front porch is sinking, the broken windows are missing screens and most doors are destroyed. And then there’s the rat infestation beneath the front porch.

“The wooden floors in the main living room are so stained from years of partying that it is nearly impossible to clean,” Whealon said. “Moreover, one of the bedrooms is the size of an average prison cell and lacks the adequate space for the current occupant to do anything but sleep in an extremely undersized twin bed.”

Even so, Salvatore Bando, Jr., partner/owner of Cedar Square Management, said the Toolbox is one of his most popular rental houses and is rented by Oct. 1, annually.

  • brad chandler

    i knew those guys that used to live in the toolbox back in the late 90′s – most of them amounted to nothing but upon graduation i landed a job making thirty-five thousand dollars per year. i was laughing all the way to the bank!