Posted by: union03g | May 9, 2009

Why you are in love with Chicago lofts and you will never buy one.

Chicago lofts are second in the country only to that of New York. From the South Loop printing press warehouses and auto show rooms, to the West Loop meat packing factories, to North side breweries and WW II machine shops like the Teletype building, Chicago turns out some of the most authentic lofts in the country. Some have concrete walls while others are stacked with beautiful original timber beams.

So, you love lofts and share the emotional charge with everyone else when you walk into them. You know instantly that you could entertain better than anyone in the city. You’re canvasses could be two stories tall and still fit above the couch. The brick and timber and cherry floors would look great with 30 martini drinking Chicago socialites wearing black framed glasses that read versace on the side while the DJ spins scratchology near the balcony. A balcony/fire escape which looks out onto the uncharted concrete jungle – and the view of the Chicago skyline no one knew existed. It’s an ephemeral dream. You are Robert De Nero pioneering in Tribeca, or you are Jack the Ripper living in London’s industrial east end, rambling through lofts and underground clubs – but doing it in Chicago.

And yet the fact remains that you will never buy or live in a loft because they aren’t practical. And as the Loft boom has cooled considerably in Chicago, people are beginning to understand why: the energy bill to heat and cool a loft is through the roof. Ceiling fans won’t help by the way. When your friend sleeps over you are going to hear him snoring, or something excessively worse, because the walls are just open partitions and provide no privacy. Timber lofts transmit noise terribly (and musicians love living in these things). The buildings are old and decrepit which command HUGE assessments. They are generally in fringe neighborhoods and are too dangerous for family life. Babies can’t sleep because they are too noisy/drafty/open. The demographic living in your building defaults on its assessments or goes into foreclosure, which effects your properties value. In other words, lofts are like yachts or private jets, not very functional and financially wise, but loved by millions. They are the credit default swaps of real estate. Lofts generally have a 2 year shelf life for people who live in them, then the owners get out and get real.

But I am still in love with Chicago lofts, their history and beauty together. And that will never, ever, change.


  1. […] One Of The Coolest Condo’s I’ve Seen In Awhile: 1638 W. Superior Check out this lofty re-purposed Church. How cool would it be to watch new people’s faces as they walk into your pad and see that window. His couch is hideous and TV tiny but you wouldn’t even notice. Love the ladder up into the library too! But be careful, its a quasi-loft space. […]

  2. […] they nuts? Now its listed at $450k (25% reduction) –  a reasonable ask but its still a loft which shouldn’t command as much as a non loft, ceteris […]

  3. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but
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    not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say
    superb blog!

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