Five residents of the 2-year-old Hub Tucson Park Avenue student apartments had to leave the six-story apartment after mold was discovered in the living room.
The Hub put the tenants in temporary housing while it remediates the problem, the apartment's officials said.
The residents said they discovered the mold when they moved in last August. The greenish-black mold made a spider web pattern in the living room, a closet and a bedroom of the apartment at 1055 N. Park Ave.
“We thought it was a very safe and nice location, liked the amenities and the looks of the building,” Lexi Campbell said about her decision to move into Hub Park Avenue.
But since moving in, Campbell said she and her roommates have been plagued with health issues that they believe are connected to the mold.
“We all have symptoms of coughing, congestion, chronic fatigue and headaches and have had these consistently,” Campbell said. “We believe it is due to the mold that was surrounding our apartment walls.”
Dr. Farshad Shirazi, medical director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, said mold pollutants are not always dangerous to adults, however, some people can experience an allergic reaction that can lead to symptoms affecting the nasal passage and respiratory system, which ultimately can lead to headaches.
Shirazi said mold buildup is common in newly built buildings “due to plumbing issues or areas with high humidity.”
Hub officials would not discuss the cause of the mold in the six-story apartment, but they said inspections of nearby apartments showed no sign of mold.
Katy Darnaby, a spokesperson from Core Spaces, the company which owns Hub Tucson Park Avenue, said the apartment had tested the adjacent units and the tests came back negative.
“We will be tearing out the drywall [and] replacing it in the one unit that was impacted from moisture exposure,” Darnaby said.
The Hub set up Campbell and her roommates in alternate housing on Jan. 12 while workers remediated the apartment. Campbell said the management has not told them how long the work will take, and Darnaby also would not comment on the timeframe or the extent of the work.
Shirazi said there are five key steps of mold remediation including isolating the contaminated area and removing large areas of mold using chemicals that help prevent it from spreading. The job also includes cleaning AC vents and surfaces and replacing carpeting before an extended testing for mold particles that could take up to 12 hours.
The tenants said they have contacted an attorney to negotiate terms with the apartment building.
Hub Tucson Park Ave was developed by Core Spaces of Chicago, Illinois, which specializes in student housing across the United States. In addition to the Hub, located across the street from the UA campus, Core Spaces developed neighboring ōLiv at 900 E. Second St.
According to data from CoStar, a leader in commercial real estate analytics and news, the average rent for the Hub Tucson Park Avenue is $1,172, which is comparable to surrounding student housing complexes. The vacancy rate of Hub Tucson Park Avenue is 0.9%.
*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.
Follow the Daily Wildcat on Twitter