Luxury Buildings Near Ballparks See Leasing Spikes

Fans aren’t allowed in baseball stadiums as the sport’s season kicks off, but you may find a seat with a view of the game at a nearby apartment building.

Many tenants at a luxury rental apartment complex called West Half in Washington, D.C., have views inside Nationals Park, and that advantage is causing an increase in leasing, developers report. Leasing also has surged in recent weeks for units overlooking Busch Stadium in St. Louis. A new 29-story luxury rental building offers ballpark views. The building—which opens in August, just as games are to begin at Busch Stadium—is owned in partnership between the St. Louis Cardinals and The Cordish Cos. Rents range from $1,400 to $7,900 per month.Buyers warned against registering flats delivered by defaulting ...

“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.”

In recent years, ballparks have served as popular anchors for new real estate development, including surrounding residential, retail, and restaurants. Cities have used stadiums and surrounding retail to rehabilitate parts of their communities, like in Washington Navy Yard and The Battery Atlanta. Some stadiums are using outdoor screens to project games for spectators dining outside the stadium.

While developers acknowledge they may be missing out on profits from in-person ticket sales this year, those that have a stake in surrounding luxury rental towers are seeing their profits rise. “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.”