Thinking about loft living? The South Loop sports superb options
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L ofts have come a long way since the 1980s. Back then they were long on character and space but short on services and amenities; now most lofts boast everything from door staff and parking to gourmet kitchens and fitness centers. One of the best places to scout out these spaces is still the South Loop, where lofts first cropped up in old printing factories and warehouses but also come in new-construction options.
If you’re looking for a building that combines the old and the new, check out Dearborn Tower at 1530 S. State. It was formerly the Beatrice Foods cold storage warehouse, but a 2001 conversion to lofts designed by Pappageorge Haymes architects added six new floors to the 1918 base. Now with 317 units spread over 18 floors, “it’s the largest and most diverse loft building in the South Loop for its varied floor plans, price points and demographics,” says @properties broker Colleen Harper (312-617-3456, Colleenharper@atproperties.com), who specializes in the neighborhood. It’s also loaded with amenities. There are currently three units for sale in the building, but the grandest is Harper’s listing for unit 17B, a 2,100-square-foot three-bedroom, three-bathroom for $860,000. The condo was owned by celebrated local broadcast personality Emilie McKendall Hall, who did the spectacular interior design job herself.
Lofts for less
There are plenty of listings to pick from at lower price points in the South Loop. Some stars include three two-bedroom, two-bathroom new-construction units at 1440 S. Wabash (304, 313 and 413), all about 1,100 square feet and priced from $280,000 to $285,000. “It’s an exceptional price for the space and caliber of finishes,” says broker Colleen Harper (312-617-3456, Colleenharper@atproperties.com). Another entry-level option is No. 1105 at 1600 S. Prairie, a 909-square-foot one-bedroom, 1.5-bath corner unit with floor-to-ceiling windows, a 16-foot balcony and jaw-dropping skyline views for $235,000. (Contact broker Eugene Fu, 312-804-3738, Eugenefu@atproperties.com.) For more space, check out unit 404 at 2332 S. Michigan, a 2,000-square-foot two-bedroom, 2.5-bath triplex with a large outdoor deck, a chef’s kitchen, smart-home surround sound and more. (Contact broker Landon Harper, 312-617-6070, Landonharper@atproperties.com.)
With a hollow compartment below its glass tabletop, the rustic-chic Sarreid cocktail table offers more than just a place to set drinks. Made out of a vintage flour bin and mounted on an iron base, it’s perfect for loft living thanks to its ability assume any decorative aesthetic, depending on how you “accessorize” its depths. It measures 58 inches long, 29 inches wide and 22 inches high. Custom orders only, $1,979. Walter E. Smithe, Smithe.com.