By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Fifty years ago, the property where Stadium View Apartments now stands was an empty field. Cattle grazed at the neighboring Carter Park property.
Nearby, Bowling Green State University was growing, and was running out of housing for students.
So Norm and Barb Holley had a vision.
“This was just a field,” said Ryan Holley, grandson to Norm and Barb. “BGSU was going through a boom and didn’t have places to put students.”
So the couple built an apartment complex off Clough Street near Campbell Hill Road.
“They called it Stadium View because at the time you could see the stadium,” Ryan Holley said.
That view is no longer there, being blocked by commercial buildings. But the apartment complex is still owned by Norm and Barb Holley, who continue to live next door. Taking over management from the founders were their children, Rob Holley and Cindy McCarthy. Now managing the complex is their grandson, Ryan Holley.
On Wednesday, July 11, Stadium View Apartments will celebrate its 50th anniversary, from 4 to 7 p.m.
The apartment complex, with 224 units, now specializes in non-student housing.
“We saw a need for housing not just for students,” Ryan Holley said. “That’s been our niche ever since.”
The strategy has worked for the family.
“We almost always have a waiting list,” Holley said. “Our business model is all about the retention, not the turnover.”
“We’ve had residents here for 40 years, 30 years,” Holley said, noting that one resident knew him as a baby. The average resident’s stay is eight years.
The secret, he said, is taking care of the apartment complex and changing with the times.
“We take a lot of pride in our property,” he said. “It’s a reflection on us. We love this community.”
Stadium View offers residents an indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center, playground, plus easy access to Carter Park, BGSU and Interstate 75.
Capital improvements are frequently being made at the complex, such as new boilers, windows, ceiling fans, and LED conversion as the complex “goes green.” Stadium View allows pets, and since the early 2000s has gone completely non-smoking. The complex also offers recycling collection.
Holley called the complex a “hidden gem.”
“We don’t really advertise,” he said, adding that word-of-mouth comments are enough to keep names on the waiting list.
The Stadium View 50th celebration will be held in the complex party room, both inside and outside. There will be scrapbooks of old photos, local pizza, High-Flying Hotdogs, cake, and jazz music by the BG Big Band.
The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce will hold a business after hours at the complex from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
“Everyone’s invited,” Holley said.