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Choose Your Own Adventure with a Downtown Loft

Written by Cindy Marie Jenkins on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 at 2:24pm.

Are you uninspired by your house or apartment hunt? Tired of the same old ground-plan and beige walls? Want to live in the middle of the action?

It’s time to consider loft living.

“People freak out with inspiration when they see this large empty space with no walls,” David Hernandez, Nook’s Resident Loft Expert, explains. “Loft properties, especially a converted loft space, have a special kind of charm that comes from living in a place that was initially designed for something else.”

Live in downtown LA? I admit that I was one of the people who initially scoffed at the idea of revitalizing downtown. A few years later and with half my designer friends now living there, I happily eat my words - and a renowned French dip sandwich - at Cole’s, before meeting in the speakeasy housed behind a nondescript back door.

It’s more than just the nearby food choices that make a loft lifestyle appealing, though. David understands the histories and how the development of both downtowns leaned into their heritage rather than modify them: “Before 2012, living in downtown LA and Long Beach was not very attractive. You mainly had people looking for cheap rents living in lofts.” It was exactly those people, he says, who saw the potential in their open spaces and allowed loft living to take off into a lifestyle all its own. “Then it was up to the cities of LA and Long Beach to bring in the lifestyle that young professionals are looking for,” he says.

And create a lifestyle they did. Whether it is Long Beach’s excellent combination of neighborhood dives with fancy happy hours, or DTLA’s exquisite arts scene across from the family and business friendly Grand Park, both downtowns grew to meet the young creatives who no longer just want cheap rent and instead desire to build a life.

That’s what attracted David and his wife to a downtown loft. “Back in 2007 we were in Downtown LA a lot for work and decided to try Loft Living.” That decision brought them a different kind of peace than they found in Pasadena. “We had a corner unit with mountain and downtown views that were like a work at art at night. You can’t paint that kind of view,”” he recalls, “it looks too unreal.”

David and his wife also loved the physical aspects of the loft lifestyle, the “tall windows, the concrete floors and the hustle and bustle of the fashion district.  

“You can really benefit from the holdovers of the building’s industrial past,” he explains. “Exposed brick, high ceilings, and oversized windows are common attributes of a loft apartment. There are often architectural details such as gears and a pulley, or even original fire doors where you live”. It sounds like the motley crew in The Ghostbusters were ahead of their time, fire pole and all.

Yet the transformation of downtowns that embrace their historic origins rather than erase them can be traced back to Baltimore and Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and to a lesser extent, San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square and Seattle’s Pike Place Market. New York’s successful rebirth of SoHo in the 60s and 70s paved the way for all of these industrial rebirths, turning underutilized commercial buildings into a lifestyle for the new breed of artists and their live/work needs.

The benefits to these industrial holdovers are perfect for the creative mind. That’s why David believes that artists, musicians, writers and the self-employed typically fall in love with these spaces: “Lofts usually have high ceilings and a blank slate for you to let your brain play with decor. If you are a creative type, you can use your loft as your canvas and create a living space unique to you.”

Explore the lofts currently available with our #SearchWithStyle, or contact David directly at 213-808-4324.

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