There is considerable excitement about Notre Dame condos this year. An incomplete list of recent and new projects would include: Waterford Estates, Stadium Club, Dublin Village, Colfax Place, North Douglas, Wexford Place, Eddy Street Commons, Stadium Village and GameDay Hall of Fame. There are new condos, condo conversions, hotel-condos, and mixed use developments. With the possible exception of Colfax Place , each of these is marketing itself as a great place for Notre Dame affiliates – faculty, fans and/or students.
After some speculation – including my own – that developer’s may overbuild the market, I took a look at the history of condo buildups near Notre Dame and found some interesting correlations. Of course, these are my interpretations and include educated guesses, omissions of entire developments and other manipulations of the data that might make statisticians cringe. That said, I think it showed some interesting results. There have been three major growth periods: around 1972, around 1988, and around 2006.
In the early 1970s Northshore Club, Woodbridge and New London Lake were built, a total of about 280 units. They each include a major water feature, a detail that was lost for many later developments. This was the midpoint Parseghian coaching Era and several years after the 1966 national championship.
The late 1980s saw the construction of Oak Hill and the Stadium Club, about 154 units. The timing may not have been right because Stadium Club became apartments for years, and Oak Hill was not immediately popular. This was early in the Holtz coaching era, and around the 1988 national championship.
Recent years have seen an unprecedented level of high-end development near the University. Dublin Village, Colfax place, and Wexford Place are here or coming soon, and a new concept, the “hotel-condo” has manifested itself in Waterford Estates and the reportedly coming Stadium Village and GameDay Center. Estimating numbers for the undetermined projects, I come up with about 900 units if all the expected projects are built, and about 550 if you remove the condo-hotels, which are quite different than traditional condos. We are early in the Weiss coaching era (2005-).
The correlation between coaches that arouse passion in the fans and the building of condos near the University has surprised me even though I was expecting it. Nothing else I looked at, South Bend’s population, Notre Dame’s enrollment or interest rates correlates as well. If I were a developer, I would build the best condos I could, try to brand them with a coherent “personality,” and hope for exciting football seasons.