Baseball fans missing out on the action due to the coronavirus pandemic are taking desperate measures to get their fill by renting out apartments overlooking stadiums.
Some of the units at the West Half luxury rental apartment complex in Washington D.C. for example have a great view of Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, and that’s led to an increase in leasing, the developers say.
In addition, the number of leases at units overlooking Busch Stadium in St. Louis, where the St. Louis Cardinals play their home matches, has also increased. One building, a 29-story luxury rental building called The Cordish Cos. that overlooks Busch Stadium, opens in August at the same time as Major League Baseball season starts, with apartments costing from $1,400 to $7,900 per month.
“Your typical new-construction apartment building opens about 10% to 15% leased,” Nick Benjamin, Cordish’s vice president of development, told CNBC. “We’re 65% leased today, a few days before the first move-in. We’ve leased well on pace with our budgets and projections through COVID-19, and now we’re really starting to see momentum pick up as we get close to the start of the season.”
Ballparks often serve as anchors for new real estate development, and are usually surrounded by residential homes, retail and restaurants. Indeed, some cities have even built stadiums with the purpose of rehabilitating certain communities – Washington Navy Yard and The Battery Atlanta being prime examples. Some even offer big outdoor screens to show the games to spectators who’re dining or shopping outside the stadiums.
Developers acknowledge that stadiums are likely to miss out on ticket sales this year as fans are currently banned from attending, but they believe that luxury rental towers overlooking them are going to see a rise in profits.
“One Cardinal Way is going to be one of the only places in the entire city - and one of the few places really across the country - where you’re going to be able to watch live baseball,” Benjamin told CNBC. “That’s going to be a huge marketing asset for us.”