(Photo Credit: EvolveBloomington.com)
As collegiate sports programs across the nation race for arms within the boundaries of NCAA regulations, one of the more notable amenities that programs have significantly invested in are player facilities, specifically player-living spaces. In 2015, Kansas spent $12 million on a McCarthy Hall that houses 16 basketball players, has a barbershop, half court facility, multi-purpose room, and a game room. Historically Indiana basketball has not provided special accommodations for the men’s basketball program; however, in October 2018 a new option right across the street has opened up for the Hoosiers: Evolve Bloomington.
For those that have not yet returned back to Bloomington in the past year, the area surrounding the Convenient Food Mart near Memorial Stadium looks a bit different. Evolve Bloomington is a new privately owned apartment complex built at the corner Dunn and 17th Street / 18th Street. Located at 1425 North Dunn Street, the apartments were built by real-estate investment company CA Management Services.
A number of Indiana basketball players have already made references to the new apartments. Instead of dorm options such as Briscoe or further off-campus living such as the apartment complexes near Kirkwood Avenue or College Avenue, the Hoosiers now have an alternative that is literally a stone’s throw away from Memorial Stadium and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. In fact, there are plenty of scooters (Lime and Bird) available that are typically parked right in front of the property for residents to use to make the commute even easier.
To get a first-hand look at the brand new apartment complex and to get insights into how Indiana basketball players might spend their days at home, IndianaHQ got a special opportunity to speak with Sara Glenn of Evolve Bloomington, who is the Leasing and Marketing Manager of the property.
Due to the proximity of the athletic facilities, a number of football players and even tennis players also living in these apartments. Unfortunately Sara was not able to publicly share the exact details on residents of the property.
An Overview of Evolve Bloomington
At a glance, Evolve Bloomington offers “modern-style community” that is “upscale” and contains everything that students need to live comfortably. These apartments stand out by not only having very useful accommodations for the residents, but exclusive amenities areas that we will dive into further below.
The property itself is sizable, to say the least, and contains 279 units with a total of 751 beds. That means at full capacity, a total of over 750 students will be living at Evolve Bloomington.
Units range from studio apartments to 4 person town homes that are up to three-stories tall.
The estate covers a mind-blowing 6.08 acres, which includes 24,500 square feet of amenity space and 8,200 square feet of retail space. The main building is 5 stories tall with an equally tall 5 story garage. Evolve Bloomington has a total of 7 buildings, of which 2 contain shared spaces. All 7 buildings have some form of housing contained within.
As you may realize by now, the space itself was built with the intention of providing housing to students, not exclusively to players. The location on 17th Street right next to the stadiums place the apartments in a prime location for students to go to games, as well as hop on the campus bus that will take them straight to class.
Home Lifestyle: Inside the Apartments
The apartment units themselves stand out by being fully-furnished, which is an offering that is not very common among off-campus living options. According to Sara Glenn, “Units come with a TV in the living room, full granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances… and it will be able to handle anything that a college student needs throughout the year.”
Anyone who has been a part of the college student move-in our move-out processes knows that they can be extremely high-stress situations. Between the multiple trips to Target and Wal-Mart, and the anxiety of building furniture at the last minute, signing with an apartment complex that is already fully furnished makes move-in and move-out so much simpler for everyone involved.
Bring your clothes, bring your essentials, and you’ll be good to go for the entire semester.
In the bedrooms, all of the residents will receive core furniture: bed with a memory foam mattress, desk, ergonomic office chair, etc. Those that opt for a premium unit will also get a television in each of their rooms.
These rooms were built with students in mind. Throughout the apartment, including the rooms, there are USB charging ports available to juice up all of the hundreds of devices that a student today requires.
Despite living with multiple roommates, Evolve Bloomington creates a sense of privacy in the individual living spaces. For everyone room, there is a bathroom. So all residents will have their own private bathrooms that they do not need to share in the mornings with roommates.
All apartments have a set of in-unit washer and dryer.
A feature that a lot of residents really enjoy is the bluetooth shower head that accompany all-glass shower doors, because, well… how cool would it be to wash yourself while listening to Outkast’s So Fresh and So Clean blasting from your shower head?
The kitchens are stocked with all stainless steel appliances. If you want to bring your own juicer or blender, there is plenty of space on the granite counter tops to house your additional kitchen accessories. Kitchen utensils are not provided by the apartment complex, so you will have to bring in your own plates, bowls, red solo cups, etc.
As a note, all utilities are included as part of the monthly rental except for electricity. Residents do not receive an additional internet, television, or water bill as they are already covered.
Imagine this scenario, it is the middle of the winter semester and you have one weekend left to finish a group project. Not only can you bring your team to Evolve Bloomington given its plethora of study areas (see below), you can actually let them into the building without even leaving your room with a modern intercom system known as ButterflyMX.
Residents download a mobile application that connects with various entrance ways around the property. You will be able to see who is attempting to enter the building and you can unlock the door at the comfort of your apartment. Additionally if you are locked out without your key, you can get into the building without your key fob with a temporary virtual key that can be scanned. All door-openings can be tracked and logged, as another layer of security for residents in the complex.
Study-First Space Design
As you take your first stroll through the apartment complex, a noticeable theme besides the modern design language is the sheer number of places to study. Evolve Bloomington was designed for student living and that is their first priority.
What I love about this property – even though we have these huge amenities all around – is that we do have locations for private study rooms, as well as study booths. We also have little study pods all throughout the building such as hallways.Sara Glenn on studying options at Evolve Bloomington
Throughout every building, there are a variety of areas that can be used to study if students want to get out of their own distraction-filled apartments to have a more quiet space do their work. In the below photos, you will see restaurant-style study booths that have retractable curtains to further help induce focus.
Given it’s recent construction, all study areas are equipped with power outlets and USB charging ports to minimize disruption to the studying-groove. Of course WiFi internet is available all through out each of the buildings that make up Evolve.
If you are working in a group, Evolve Bloomington has you covered as well. Sound-proof team rooms are available with HDMI-accessible televisions so that you and your group can work together collaboratively. There is one wall in each of these rooms that can be used entirely as a dry-erase board, so that you can write on them.
Countless study pods are available for individual studying needs. These study pods are enclosed areas where students can work on homework or prepare for exams. The seating section of the study pods are raised higher than typical seating that helps prevent excess noise from the surrounding. During midterms or finals weeks, the study pods are typically more available than the group study locations.
For those without computers, there are four Apple iMacs available in the computer lab that anyone can use. There is no need to venture all the way to campus for your printing needs, the lab has you covered with 24 hour access to printers.
Training Outside of Clif Marshall’s Lab
Among the amenities of Evolve Bloomington, the gym might be one of the most impressive. The have a large garage-style gym with plenty of space that overlooks the shared courtyard area located in the center of the housing area.
Players may elect to use Cook Hall and the services of Clif Marshall’s performance staff, but that is not because of the lack of options at Evolve. The gym features cross-fit equipment, full weight sets, and numerous cardio machines. Like the basketball court, the gym is also available 24 hours. In the gym and throughout the building, you can connect your own device or use the wall-mounted audio machines to play your favorite tunes throughout the property.
For more relaxing options, a yoga room and a sauna room are also available as part of the fitness amenities. The yoga room hosts free classes for residents, and there are options to use on-demand training which are video-instructor-led regimes that you can follow along. The large sauna can be used to soothe your body and provide bonus detoxing after a hard study week… or maybe a hard “study” weekend as well.
Private and Always Available Basketball Full Court
The glorious indoor basketball court is available 24 hours for all residents. The court is a full-sized court and has a view into the courtyard. There are additional viewing spaces if other visitors want to watch the competitive pick up games taking place on the floor. If one of the Indiana basketball players needs a couple more repetitions and they don’t feel like walking all the way to Cook Hall, they can get extra shots in the Evolve Bloomington basketball court.
Perhaps round-the-clock access can help Indiana’s free throw percentage?
Only time will tell if IU improves their shooting at the charity stripe, but one thing for sure is that they are running out of excuses by having 24 hour access to a hoop right in the comfort of their housing complex.
Beyond for the players, residents have also assembled to create a 3 on 3 tournament that was hosted by the property. The winning team won a total of $1,000 and won the bragging rights to be named champions of the first ever formal basketball tournament at Evolve.
Have a group that you want to run pick up with? No problem, just put your name in with the staff and reserve any of the spaces for a private event at no cost.
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Pool Parties in the Courtyard
The courtyard itself is the largest shared area by square footage. The space includes a giant pool that is very popular in the summer months for obvious reasons. Around the pool, residents can relax and absorb the sun on tanning chairs or in two-person pergolas.
For movies, the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, or any other major viewing event, a pool-side jumbo-tron has been one of the most used items on the property and has been a fun addition for the residents. Instead of drive-in movies, those inclined can come hang out at the pool for a float-in movie.
Also in the courtyard, there is an area for grilling, fire pits, an astroturf space mostly used for corn hole enthusiasts, and an outdoor paddle-ball court. Being one of the more pet friendly environments, Evolve Bloomington also has a dog walk on campus.
The indoor game room hosts a number of options to hangout in a more communal environment. Right up the main set of stairs from the leasing office, you can find a billiards table, ping pong table, and air hockey table. Located right behind those amenities, a retro arcade has been built using three television screens. These units hosts hundreds of retro-video games that guests can play with their friends and family.
Evolve Bloomington does not have any restrictions on number of guests that residents can bring, with the minor exception being the pool where guests need to wear a wrist band.
The majority of amenities are available 24/7, except for a few minor exceptions. Quiet hours begin at 11 pm each evening, and there is an on-call personnel to support the residents outside of office hours.
Lobbies and other Shared Spaces
Once you are exhausted from a workout and a few rounds of table tennis, there are many lounging areas available to residents. Right outside of the leasing office, there is space available for a game of cards or a board game – whatever you are up for that afternoon.
Televisions are plentiful in many locations throughout all seven buildings. Catch up on the latest shows with friends and other residents. Soccer fans can watch their early morning games in the “Game Day Lounge” and actively root for their teams without disturbing their roommates.
Of course during finals week, you can bet that the students will find creative areas to camp and study.
With large shared amenities space, Evolve Bloomington is able to host a number of events during the year. Many of them hosted in the “Clubhouse.” Between indoor tailgates, free breakfasts, and other giveaways, there is plenty of community activities that are available. Typically there is one large monthly event and smaller weekly events that take place.
Players may never get an opportunity to actually experience a game day environment at Evolve Bloomington, but throughout the building you can find the Hoosiers play on TVs located all around. Typically there will be a viewing party and you will often find game-day snacks available for free for the residents. A shared community kitchen area has room to store refreshments while also having a fully functional oven and stove for food-based events, you know – the best kind of events.
There’s More: Outside Retail Space
A number of new retail spaces will be available in the near future. Currently, Rush Bowls is the only vendor using the available retail space, but Sara Glenn expects that to change soon. A number of spaces (potential for 4-5 more depending on how they are divided) are available that are street-facing at the intersection of 18th Street and Dunn, meaning that the general public have access and can shop at these retail locations.
That’s great for fans going to a basketball game or football game. In the near future, they will have more options to eat and shop in a very short walking distance to either athletic venue.
But for now, Rush Bowls in Bloomington is dishing out healthy smoothies, fruit bowls, and acai bowls by themselves in Evolve Bloomington’s retail space. If players are looking for a quick and healthy snack before practice, Rush Bowls is open from 9 am to 8 pm daily. They even have a “pet” bowl that are specially made for your furry friends!
Interested in Becoming a Resident at Evolve Bloomington?
At the moment, Evolve Bloomington is currently accepting waiting list applications only. They have filled all 700+ openings for 2019. Given the number of students moving out to study abroad, and various other reasons, definitely put your name in the hat if you are interested in also getting a first-hand taste of how players live in Bloomington.
Check out their website at Evolve Bloomington for more information on how you can sign-up.