The Mason on Chestnut’s new management has plans to address residents’ concerns about the building’s security and maintenance.
CSC, a building management group with properties in Philadelphia, New York, and internationally, has owned the building, located at 3701 Chestnut Street, since 2020. The building had previously been run by Outpost Club, a third party management site, but since June 30, The Mason is now run internally within CSC.
The goal of the new management change is to “enhance the experience for the residents,” Sal Smeke, co-founder of CSC and managing partner at The Mason, told The Daily Pennsylvanian. The switch was announced in an email sent to residents on June 21.
“We are completely changing the approach of The Mason to be more welcoming to new tenants,” Smeke said.
Over the years, The Mason has faced multiple complaints about the state of the building and a lack of proper upkeep and maintenance, according to residents who spoke with the DP.
College senior Zuri Robinson, who lived in the building from January to July this year, said that there was a lack of hot water and faulty air conditioning during the summer.
“The machinery in the building is constantly breaking down,” Robinson said.
Charlie Texier, an online student at New Mexico State University, began living in the building in August 2022 on a twelve-month lease, but she terminated the contract after just six months because of issues with the building.
“They didn’t clean areas they promised they would and weren’t clear about which ones they would clean,” she said. “If the kitchen wasn’t clean, each pod would be fined $200.”
Texier said that the fire alarm went off constantly and that areas of the building were not up to code, including the emergency exit fire doors being “rusted shut.”
Texier hopes that the new management will “have [the] tenants’ interests at heart” and implement basic safety protocols like fire alarm tests.
Farzana Hoque, a former Mason resident, said that The Mason's security system was lacking and there were issues with theft while she lived in the building.
“We had proof and evidence [of theft] and [the staff] did not do or say anything,” she said.
Hoque moved out the week the management shift occurred, and she said that she does not plan on going back.
“Overall we just hope for more reliable maintenance,” former Mason resident Gwen Williams said. She said that CSC will need to “spend as much time and money [as] they can on fixing things up.”
The building “does need touch-ups, and that’s why we took the management in-house, to show the tenants that we’re hands-on,” Smeke said.
CSC originally bought the property in 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Smeke. Since then, he said that CSC has renovated the amenities of the building, and most recently brought in a “more seasoned property manager."
Smeke said that the new management team plans to address and hopefully mitigate the complaints the building has faced over the past few years.
“We put in an in-house maintenance team, which will hopefully be a big improvement,” he said.
So far, Smeke said that tenants have reacted positively to the new management
“For the past two weeks, we’ve just been receiving thank you emails constantly. People are super happy about it,” Smeke told the DP.