Resident · 2010 - 2011
This building has taken a lot of heat from past reviewers, but it is important to look at the dates of the reviews. This place was formerly Rainbow Tower and had a god-awful reputation. However, in the past few years they have been renovating the apartments and have made the necessary improvements to change its reputation. The old reviews complaining about parking issues and ants are not problems. Those reviews are 5 years old. The free parking lot in the back is never full. I have lived here for the past year and have always seen plenty of empty spots. I think they fixed the old parking issue by repaving, numbering, and assigning spaces. It sounded like other KUMC students who did not live here were taking up residential parking. This definitely is not an issue now. As for ants, I would say about once/month I will see a single, random ant walking around on the tile in the bathroom. I kill it and that's that. Seeing one ant per month does not bother me in the least bit. It actually surprised me why I would see a random ant in the bathroom when I definitely have crumbs left in the kitchen and have never seen a single ant there. An old ant infestation problem in the building explains the random ant walking around, but it is clearly a problem that is 99% solved. I've seen a few lady bugs by the windows in the winter, that's it for bugs. Therefore, there is not a bug problem in my apartment. Obviously a bug or two will get into any building at some point. As for construction, on one hand it is a good thing and on the other it is bad. By doing construction and renovation, they are increasing the value of your apartment/condo/building in the longterm. It is annoying dealing with the construction, but that's not something you can control. The elevators recently have gotten very backed up and during the weekdays can leave you waiting for a long time. This is due to the building only having 2 elevators and the construction workers using both. The construction workers will hold the elevator and then will it send it back up to their construction buddy so no one else can grab it. I've seen it done many times. The guy will ride down to the 5th floor, then before he gets out he will press 15 so his friend automatically gets it back before anyone can grab it on the G level. Residents started complaining so the manager has been very firm with the workers that they are to only use the construction elevator. That still only leaves 1 elevator for the residents and still leaves lots of waiting time. So, now, you will hear angry residents and construction workers complaining about the elevators. FORTUNATELY, THIS WILL ONLY GO ON FOR ANOTHER FEW WEEKS. Renovations have summer deadlines for new owners to move in, so the terrible construction has only been in June and likely July. THE ELEVATORS WERE FINE DURING THE YEAR. DO NOT USE THIS AS A REASON NOT TO MOVE HERE. As for complaints about the water randomly being shut off or sewage backing up and coming out of sinks --- The sewage claims are just absurd. As for shutting the water off, the water was shut off maybe a total of 5 times over the last year for a few hours at a time. This was because people were incorrectly dumping things down their garbage disposals and clogging up the pipes. They had to shut off the water to unclog the pipes. They gave us ample notification they were shutting off the water except for one of those times. That was a bit annoying, but it was only done ONCE in the past year and only for a few hours. These are issues that you are going to run into at any apartment complex or any property inside a large building. Buy a house if you don't want to deal with that. FURTHERMORE, this issue occurred when the old manager was here. Read on for more details. Robin, the new manager, is excellent. THE REASONS TO MOVE HERE: it is the best place to live in the area. Hands down. No contest. If you go to school at KUMC, then, I repeat, this is BY FAR THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE. LOCATION: all your classes will be in Orr Major or Wahl Hall Something. There is NO closer place near school. And when you are moving to a new place for school, your location should ALWAYS ALWAYS be based on proximity to school. It is the most convenient situation, ever. It is also 5 minutes from West Port, 7 minutes from the Plaza, and 10 minutes from P&L. There are plenty of grocery stores...from the very nice Hen House in Mission to the sh***y Sun Fresh in West Port. I used Sun Fresh for most of the year but recently started using Hen House. It's more expensive but much better food quality, cleaner, and not ------. Some things will not be worth paying extra for, so for those items go to Sun Fresh. PARKING: There is an outdoor parking lot for residents that always has spots. There is assigned parking with numbers painted in each spot. There are also cameras that watch over the lot. Between the camera and painted numbers, this seems to keep out nonresidents from parking there. Like I said, always has empty spots. There is also an underground garage that you can pay $30/month per spot. The garage is very secure. The garage door never remains open by itself unlike at many apartment complexes (the gate at Rainbow Ridge). Your car is well protected from theft and snow during the winter. Definitely nice to be shielded from the snowstorms. The streets around here always 100% paved as well since they're next to the hospital. Always the first streets paved in the city during/after a winter storm. Also, the parking LOCATION is KEY. There is NO CLOSER STUDENT PARKING LOT AT KUMC THAN THE VISTA RESIDENTIAL PARKING LOT. Not only do you not need to drive to class like everyone else, but your Vista parking spot is closer than any KUMC yellow parking spot. This is HUGE since you have no need to pay for yellow student parking. As every KUMC student knows, the KU Med parking is a disaster. There's constant parking lot construction, blocking off of parking lots, etc...you are forced to pay for terrible parking spots. But not if you live at Vista! Location and parking are probably the best perks of living at Vista while going to school at KUMC. SECURITY: Excellent. Obviously this area is not the safest area, but the building is very very safe. Everything is locked past 6 or 7 pm I think. The garage door is always closed. The front door is the only door unlocked and there is a person working at the frontdesk watching it. If the person leaves to do their rounds, then they lock the frontdoor. This building is literally like living up in the clouds. No one can reach you. Not to mention the constant police that are patrolling around the area because of KU Med. This is definitely the safest place to live in this area. AMENITIES: Pool, sauna, grill, home theatre, workout room. The workout room recently got a new treadmill and elliptical. It's great for cardio, bad for weights. You should only be living here if you are a KUMC student/worker, though, so use the KU gym for lifting. STAFF: The old manager sucked and she randomly disappeared. I think she got fired. The building owner brought in a new manager who used to manage one of his other properties. She (Robin) is very good and on the ball. She is making some good changes around here. And by that, I mean whipping the maintenance crew into shape and enforcing the rules. The maintenance crew is terrible, terrible. Their #1 concern is condo construction, so the maintenance repairs become last priority. You have to ask several times for anything to be fixed. That's the one major complaint that I noticed did not change from the 5 year old reviews. It takes them forever to fix anything and, when they do, they do a half---- job. You have to complain to the manager everytime in order to get anything fixed correctly. My advice is to report everything to Robin and she will make sure it is done. She is beating the laziness out of the maintenance/construction crew. The workers are very nice, but lazy. As for the doormen/women, the longterm workers are excellent. Very courteous and helpful. The recently hired ones are a waste, though. The new male doorman should especially be fired. He does absolutely nothing. He sleeps all day, does not help anyone, does not open the door for anyone, does not greet anyone. He literally fails to do everything a door person is supposed to do. He is either sleeping or on his ipod. APARTMENT: I have a renovated one and it is very nice. Granite countertops, VERY nice bathrooms, big closets, brand-new appliances, but cabinetry is a little cheap (at least looks good though). I think the opposite is true for the unrenovated apartments, though. Definitely sounds like you should not live here if you are renting a nonrenovated apartment. The extra money is definitely worth the renovated condos, though! As for insulation, I have huge windows so I definitely have cold/heat issues depending on the season. That's what you get with lots of windows, though. It's worth the tradeoff. Get some thermocurtains and you're good. COMMUNITY/NOISE: Excellent. Everyone in this building is either a med student, occupational therapy student, physical therapy student, nursing student, doctor, resident, professor, KUMC worker or their families. It's a good community. As for noise, it is always 100% quiet when it needs to be. The only times my floor was even remotely noisy were on weekend nights when neighbors were pregaming before going out. This time period is literally at 10-11pm on Friday and Saturday nights. No big deal. You're probably going out yourself anyway, or if you have to study all weekend then it won't bother you for too long. If you are being too loud, your neighbors will tell you. They won't rat you out first. On the contrary, usually if you are being noisy then you're neighbors may come and join in! As for the external noise, you do hear lots of sirens due to the location. The hospital and firestation are nearby, so there are constant sirens from ambulances and firetrucks. After living here for a few weeks, you become totally adjusted and barely notice it. It doesn't bother you whatsoever after that. It has never woken me up. CONCLUSION: Best Place to Live If You Go to School or Work at KUMC. Location, amenities, condos, staff, community are why you live here. The maintenance crew and construction are annoying, but they are only a real bother during the summer when you don't have classes anyway. The elevator issue will be a non-issue once school starts since the summer construction deadlines will have passed. For repairs, always go to Robin. She is very professional and will get it done. Make some noise (to the management staff) and you will get your repairs, eventually...(not a big enough reason to deter you from living here).