Center City offers a buffet of living arrangements. Almost any Center City condominium with a smattering of exposed brick attempts to pass itself off as a loft. Often sought after as an expression of one’s own style, loft living has taken off in downtown Philadelphia. Lofts vary in look, layout, and location throughout downtown Philly. Some loft condos impress mightily, and others are cheap imitations of highly unique, urban treasures hidden in pockets of Old City, Bella Vista, and of course, The Loft District around 13th and Vine Streets. Still others hybrid versions of a loft are modern reincarnations of reused warehouse space replete with luxurious six piece marble bathrooms, and $16,000 refrigerators.
The best example of a hard loft in Philadelphia might be The Old Shoe Factory at 314 N. 12th St. From an unadorned cavernous lobby area, up to the eighth floor via a converted over-sized warehouse lift, the units are characterized by hugely over-sized windows, exposed brick, minimalist kitchens, and bedrooms that are open to the living area. Fantastic city views, high ceilings, and a few units with polished cement floors. Minimalistic at best, these condos truly tag at the definition of a live/work open space where room size is valued over room count.
A fair example of a soft loft might be BridgeView Place at 315 New St. in Old City. With the prerequisite high ceilings, and touches of exposed brick, these condos have been compartmentalized to include bedrooms, walled off kitchen areas, and walk-in closets. Some units at BridgeView do indeed have a loft bed perched above the living space, but those units are few and far between. The conversion to condominiums in the mid 1980’s at 315 New St. is a good example of a reasonable living space, with a bit of “lofty” flair.
The recent hybrid loft, with its three bedrooms and den, Joanne Hudson kitchen, and a veranda off the master suite has become popular in Center City. More and more empty nester couples are discovering the joys of living in an unconventional space- many that may look like a magazine cover, throughout Center City. The bells and whistles attached to many recent Center City loft styled condominiums can make any a buyer take a second look at the possibilities of urban living.
A Center City loft can come in a variety of sizes, styles, and locations throughout downtown Philadelphia. Some more true to their “lofty roots” than others, loft living of all proportions is gaining popularity amongst the empty nester set moving into town from the suburbs and elsewhere. Many of the available loft condos today didn’t exist in the early 1990’s when the very first empty nester/baby boomer began trickling into Center City. And judging from the success of many loft and loft-like sales throughout the area, buyers are finding individuality can be expressed through the (loft) style in which they choose to live.