Mixed-use developments are a current trend in sports, with many teams developing unique areas around their ballparks and stadiums that include restaurants, hotels, and shopping and entertainment districts. The South Bend Cubs (Low A; Midwest League) are jumping aboard the trend by creating a new, Wrigleyville-style atmosphere around Four Winds Field with the United Federal Credit Union Rooftop and The Ivy at Berlin Place.
Team president Joe Hart said the project has been about two years in the making, and the goal is to create an environment that mimics Wrigley Field.
“It’s always been our thought when we bought the team that we wanted to continue to develop. When we became a Cubs affiliate in 2015, we thought about making it Wrigleyville East so to speak,” Hart said. “Hence the apartments and rooftop.”
Wrigleyville was even brought up in design discussions during the planning phases of the new areas.
“We wanted a classic look that will still be timeless 20 to 25 years from now,” Hart said. “The exterior of the buildings are all brick and we wanted to go with a brownstone look like you’d see in Chicago.”
While emulating certain aspects of Wrigleyville, the ability to design the United Federal Credit Union Rooftop without restrictions makes it unique.
“Unlike Wrigley, we designed our rooftop for the space. It’s all-encompassing with a full-service kitchen, private restrooms, grandstands, and has room for 300 people,” Hart said. “Being able to design it ourselves is a nice advantage. It’s going to be a great group area for years to come.”
The Ivy at Berlin Place will be an apartment complex with 121 total units and expectations for the units are high.
“It’s very popular and there is a ton of excitement. It’s a brand-new construction overlooking a ballpark,” Hart said. “We haven’t started doing leases yet. We are looking at mid to late August in terms of finishing construction.”
According to the complex’s website, amenities will include a club room—with a full kitchen, coffee bar, and lounge—a 24-hour fitness center, and the units will include stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Select units will feature oversized balconies, which Hart said are different compared to some apartment complexes.
“Our balconies are not Juliet balconies. They are oversized, so you can actually sit outside and maybe even watch part of the ballgame.”
South Bend’s owner Andrew Berlin even has a unit in the new apartment complex.
“Our owner has a unit in the apartments as well and he’ll be living there when he’s in town,” Hart said. “These apartments are going to be first-class and something that anybody would be excited to live in.”
With TWG Development working to finish construction and open the apartments in August, Hart said South Bend is looking forward to the future and hoping new development will be the spark to draw people back downtown.
“Our budget was a little over $23 or $24 million and it’s the largest new construction project in many years. Our owner has invested over $32 million in South Bend since he bought the club,” Hart said. “There has since been a lot of other development. South Bend will continue to change with new investment and it’s a vibrant town with a bright future.”
All images courtesy South Bend Cubs.
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