Close-Knit Olsens to Live Apart in N.Y.C.

01/18/2005 at 05:50 PM EST

Close-Knit Olsens to Live Apart in N.Y.C.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Steve Sands/BAUER-GRIFFIN
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have split up – at least as far as their living quarters are concerned.

The Olsens, who both attend New York University, are spending their second semester in their own individual digs, a source tells PEOPLE. Mary-Kate moved out of the pair's three-bedroom Tribeca apartment and into a spacious loft in Soho, just in time for school to begin Tuesday.

Their shared Tribeca apartment was always meant to be "temporary," according to a source familiar with their living situation. Renovations of the penthouse apartment they bought together at Morton Square in Manhattan's trendy West Village are taking longer than expected, and it won't be ready before school is out. "They still plan to move into Morton Square," said the source.

The twins' rep, Michael Pagnotta, declined to comment on the move. "I'm not going to discuss their living arrangements," he says. But he did shoot down tabloid reports suggesting that there's a rift between the sisters.

"They are as close as ever. There's no problem between them. They're not growing apart," Pagnotta says. "They're two different people. They share a lot of interests but they also do a lot of things separately.

"They're in business together. They go to school together. They're sisters."

Pagnotta also noted the college freshmen are more settled now. "They've got a semester under their belt," he said. "They've made new friends," he added, suggesting the twins are simply enjoying their independence.

Once the Morton Square apartment is finished, Ashley and Mary-Kate will be living together again. "There's more than enough space for the two of them to live their lives," said a friend.

The twins also still work closely running their business empire. They will be launching new perfumes in the spring as well as a new furniture line for teenagers and tweens.

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