Seven07 pipe burst displaces residents

You are currently viewing Seven07 pipe burst displaces residentsGwyn Skiles
Seven07 at 707 S. Fourth St. in Champaign. Photo by Gwyn Skiles.

The night Monica Milanowski returned to her apartment at Seven07, a 14-story high-rise in Champaign, after going home for winter break in January, her apartment was flooded with four to six inches of water.

“It was just kind of like all over the place and soaking through our walls and our floors and carpets and everything,” Milanowski said, who found the flooding on Jan. 14.

Milanowski said it had taken about two hours until the Denver-based property manager, Cardinal Group Management, responded to the leak at 707 S. Fourth St. in Champaign.

Cardinal Group Management said a pipe had burst in mid-January due to sustained inclement weather according to a statement provided to The company said it had to relocate tenants to empty units and hotel rooms.

The management company said the damage is so extensive that repairs will take the duration of the current leasing period to be finalized. The leasing period runs from August through mid-July.

The water damage affected as many as 20 units according to the code compliance manager for the Champaign Neighborhood Services Department, Tim Spear, who investigated the situation after a complaint was submitted to the city. 

“When you’re in a tall building, and [a pipe] bursts at the top, it’s gonna affect many floors below it as the water keeps moving its way down due to gravity,” Spear said.

However, only one unit has officially been condemned because Spear said the city can only respond to individual units they receive complaints for. The city only received one complaint. 

Tenants in Champaign renting any apartment who want to complain about their unit’s conditions can file the complaint through a tenant inspection request form or call 217-403-7070.

“We found the water leaks, and then they were opening up the ceilings and walls and stuff like that,” Spear said.

In the complaint, a tenant whose name was redacted, said that after their apartment was flooded, they were provided with a spare unit in Seven07 that was “filthy.”  Overall, more than dozen complaints about 707 have been filed since Feb. 2022: some about hot water, one about back-up in trash chutes and one about fire alarm problems. 

Spear said the Neighborhood Services Department can’t offer legal advice, so they referred the tenants to the Student Legal Services at the University of Illinois for additional support. The university department did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Milanowski was one of the tenants who was moved into a spare unit in Seven07 that was not affected by the water damage. She is currently living with two people she did not previously know in a four-bedroom apartment. 

“It’s a completely feels like a complete imposition on their space, which I feel really bad about,” Milanowski said.

Once Cardinal Group Management determined the extent of the damage, it told residents that were staying in hotel rooms that they would need to find alternative housing for the rest of the leasing period. 

“…we have contacted each resident to discuss their options for housing, including offering $500 moving assistance to help cover the associated costs of moving to a community in the local area,” Cardinal Group Management said in its email statement. 

Spear said the city doesn’t get involved in these negotiations. In a different situation involving Champaign Park Apartments, the city paid $250,000 for tenants who had to move when their units were condemned. The city is now suing to recover that money.

On Feb. 2, The Code Compliance Division of the Champaign Neighborhood Services Department published a press release detailing that they received 319 tenant inspection requests in 2023.

The report stated that the number of tenant inspection cases has “nearly doubled” compared to the 2011-2020 ten-year average.

Construction of the building was completed in July 2019.

Leave a Reply