Developer to build near football stadiums

Updated: October 23, 2004, 11:27 AM ET
Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- An Alabama developer has some upscale comfort in the future for football fans: condominiums designed as "field houses" next to stadiums.

Birmingham-based Capstone Development Corp. has built student housing for 14 years and now plans to construct luxury sports condominiums in places such as Baton Rouge and Green Bay, Wisc.

"This is a concept that will take tailgating to the next level," said Will Bru, who is co-director of project development with Kent Campbell, both Capstone senior vice presidents.

Capstone's first groundbreaking is slated for early 2005 in Baton Rouge, outside LSU's Tiger Stadium. The project could be completed by the start of the 2005 football season.

The firm plans to build condos on four college campuses as well as outside the Green Bay Packers' Lambeau Field. Other developments set for groundbreakings next year include sites in Starkville, Miss., home of Mississippi State; Manhattan, Kan., home of Kansas State; and Louisville, Ky., home of the University of Louisville.

Bru and Campbell were in Green Bay on Thursday sharing architectural plans with potential investors there.

"These will be loft-style units with one bedroom, a large entertainment area, allowing owners to custom-design them as they want," Bru said. "We're getting calls from buyers all over the country interested in these."

Buyers will have their choices of condos ranging from $150,000 to $600,000, depending on the area with places like Green Bay being most expensive and Starkville more affordable, Bru said. Each development will be less than a mile from the stadiums and include retail stores and coffee shops.

A rendering of the Baton Rouge development shows four-story and three-story buildings designed to resemble the French Quarter. "Lots of LSU fans love New Orleans so we wanted to capitalize on that," Bru said.

The buildings housing the Green Bay condos, slated to open by the fall of 2006, will have a look similar to Lambeau Field.

Capstone' owner, Mike Mouron, is a University of Alabama graduate and would love to build one at Tuscaloosa.

"We've looked at Auburn and that is probably more likely to happen sooner," he said.

This is the first venture outside traditional student housing for Capstone, which has invested $1.3 billion on developments with a combined 38,000 rooms nationwide. In Birmingham, Capstone developed UAB's Blount Hall four years ago.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press