Rentals on former Bush Stadium site will offer unique views, more


One of the city's endangered landmarks is getting new life, and it's about to become the city's hottest rental property.

The old Bush Stadium on 16th Street near the White River will soon offer a unique view for people who want to live there.

After 6 months, the stadium's old outfield wall finally came down Wednesday morning, providing an open window into the construction process. Curious passersby can get a look at construction crews turning what used to be home plate into homes.

16 years ago, baseball was what was happening inside Bush Stadium. Today though, it's construction.

"We've removed the structural bleachers and now we're removing the structural supports," said John Watson with Core Redevelopment, the company turning the property into more than a hundred apartments, some of them lofts.

"People are already calling asking if they can get on a waiting list or an interest list and we are already taking names," Watson said.

Watson took Eyewitness News through what will be the front doors to Stadium Lofts, the old front gate to Bush Stadium.

"You're now coming to where there would have been gates and turnstiles as you walked into the space," explained Watson, taking our crew through the old front gate. 

Up on the third level, we got a tour of one of the lofts.

"Its about 1400 square feet. It only has a bathroom, a closet, a kitchen against one wall," said Watson.

"Exposed brick stays. The wood columns will stay. We're standing on a concrete floor," Watson explained of the original structure.

The stadium scoreboard is staying up. So are the lights and the press box.

Watson said he's not worried renters will shy away from the area's gritty industrial landscape.

"If your first choice is living next to the fashion mall, maybe this doesn't appeal to you. But if you want an urban environment, this is a pretty cool urban environment," he said.

An urban environment that's not far away, said Watson, from other attractions. 

"We may be on West 16th Street, but we're also a 7-minute walk to the largest hospital complex in the Midwest," he said.

Watson said he expects the changes to the area won't end there, referencing the city's plans to develop the area around Bush Stadium into a technology district.

"The creative class will want to live and work in this area," said Watson. That's why he's decided to create the area's own field of dreams, firmly believing if he builds it, they will come. 

With the list to rent here already growing, Watson said expects the loft spaces to go first.  He said it will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Home plate will becomes home next August.

The project is even getting national attention. The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York is planning a special exhibit about Bush Stadium and its rebirth.