Looking to Buy a Loft? Think About Your Style!
It seems like a simple concept – the loft. I hear it all the time: “I’m looking to buy a place, and I want a loft.” But what is your definition of a loft? If you are in the market to buy a place you might have a very different definition than even your best friend, wife, or boyfriend. Perhaps you envision Tom Hanks’ spacious digs in “Big” but end up finding something closer to Bruce Willis’ futuristic apartment from the “Fifth Element?” In the Denver real estate market, there are several different kinds of lofts to fit most definitions and satisfy the most particular needs of buyers.
Old School Organic
This phrase might best catch everyone’s vision of a loft-style residence. In Denver, the Lower Downtown neighborhood has best capitalized on creating these spaces – namely because of the fantastic supply of authentic warehouse buildings from bygone eras. These buildings are generally over 100 years old and have great bones made of solid timber beams and thick walls of brick. When converting to residential spaces, architects usually expose these materials as best as possible, showing off a sea of exposed brick interior walls and striking columns of wood that complement hardwood floors. A word of caution for you purists out there: many of these buildings do not have balconies and may have historical restrictions against making changes to all those old windows. Some may not even have parking available… or even air conditioning! But these are small sacrifices to make to be in the heart of Lodo – Denver’s thriving neighborhood and entertainment hub. Looking for an authentic, organic loft in the heart of LoDo with A/C and parking? Try this Wazee Wire Works unit located just down the street from the Wazee Supper Club.Hereis the Kentwood Company web site for it:www.kentwoodhomestour.com/jl/14wa.html.
Old School Industrial
Break away from the mainstream a bit and consider a more industrial look to suit your needs. The classic industrial lofts usually are born from buildings not made of brick and timber. Instead – they have a steel framework wrapped with brick or perhaps even corrugated metal! Interior options often include concrete floors and ceilings with posts of steel or even massive cylinders of concrete. The high ceilings often leave the steel framework exposed – scoring big points in the style department! These lofts are generally most successful when they are located on the outskirts of the downtown core area – in Denver there are great examples in the Ballpark area north and east of downtown.
New School Hybrid
So of course we all know about the immense popularity of lofts in recent years, right? Well real estate developers are doing their best to create more lofts for the increasing demand, and the result is what I like to call a “hybrid” loft. These buildings do their best to recreate the old school organic textures, but often times are built without interior brick walls and wood support beams. They capture the high ceilings, and get style points for leaving the steel ductwork exposed in the unit. Of course the newness of the construction is an advantage these lofts have over the older buildings with their new systems, adequate parking facilities, and balconies. And these units sometimes have private, walled in bedrooms – a concept not usually employed in the older loft buildings. But purists will be turned off by the lack of interior textures and authentic history, or perhaps they may resort to installing entire walls of half-brick to mimic the look of the organic loft. In Denver, there are options all over the city of these hybrid lofts, from the Palace Lofts in Lodo all the way down to the southern edges of the metro area!
Next Century Trend Forward
Got some money to spend? Looking for the best in location and cutting edge style? Denver’s market is hot and these next-century loft spaces are popping up everywhere. Imported European kitchens, vessel-bowl sinks, solid glass exterior walls, designer lighting… Developers are paying more attention to detail and delivering much more high end finishes to these spaces – but at a price of course. In Denver, expect to pay at least $400 per square foot for your next-gen space that will undoubtedly impress everyone you know. Think Riverfront Park. Think the newly built Art Museum wing and their accompanying lofts designed by the now famous architect Daniel Libeskind.
So whatever your style there is a loft out there for you. Not sure of your style just yet? Then stop coveting those lofts you see in the movies and buy one for yourself!