Move in, already! Indianapolis’ old Bush Stadium becomes new apartment complex

David Brown
Big League Stew

Living at the ballpark would solve a whole bunch of issues for me, and maybe you, too. And not in the sneaky way Rudy used to sleep on a cot at Notre Dame Stadium before he tried out for the football team.

Come this summer, the wild and crazy dream of authentic ballpark living becomes reality at old Bush Stadium in Indianapolis, which is being repurposed into an apartment complex. The project by Core Redevelopment, which specializes in saving historic structures, retains the outer shell of the art-deco building and includes the look of an actual baseball field in the courtyard. Stadium Lofts is believed to be the first endeavor of its kind in the United States. Part of the former stadium for Arsenal soccer in England has been converted into the Highbury Square Apartments (H/T: @Jawsh71).

And if that's not the coolest idea you'll hear all day, it's only because you might have heard about it a week ago. Imagine the home-field advantage the apartment softball team will have! The snobs at the Reggie Miller Town Homes down the street don't stand a chance.

This is what the city of Detroit should have done with Tiger Stadium. Detroit's got some other issues, of course, but what a wonderful concept. And it seems affordable — though I admit ignorance regarding Indianapolis rents.

Via Governing magazine, check out more details and the cost:

The developers did retain some especially intriguing parts of the facility. The former owner’s office — complete with a fireplace and restored hardwood floors — is being incorporated into a one of the apartments. The baseball diamond — once made of dirt — will be made of colored concrete and surrounded by grass. “If you’re in a unit looking down,” Cox says, “it still looks like a baseball field.” The effect makes the the apartments feel like luxury boxes.

Despite the high-profile status of the project, rents aren’t particular expensive: a large 1,600 square-foot studio goes for around $1,300 per month, and a smaller 580 square-foot, one-bedroom costs about $599 (the company’s already leased 35 units).

Nerdgasm, anyone? Bush housed minor-league and Negro League baseball teams from 1931-1996, was a midget race track afterward and lapsed into a junkyard before it stopped having official tenants of any kind. By August, all of that past becomes prologue.

Some wanted the stadium to go back to being used for baseball. You've probably seen Bush Stadium — named for former MLB lifer Donie Bush — without even realizing it. In the film "Eight Men Out," it served as the stand-in for Comiskey Park and Crosley Field.

But jobs filming movies in Indianapolis are scarce and the Indians (the Triple-A team of the Pittsburgh Pirates) have played at Victory Field, one of the top minor league stadiums in the country, since '96. I hate to see any ballpark lose baseball, but this non-traditional alternative for Bush is too good not to do.

Play ball! And pay rent!

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