A few years ago, developers noticed something important: there was too much unused industrial space in most cities and not enough living space. The solution, then, was to convert old warehouses and factories into condo and apartment units. The resulting spaces were called loft conversions, industrial lofts, live work lofts, or warehouse lofts, and are popular among the hippest real estate seekers. If you're looking into the possibility of renting or buying a converted loft, here's some information about them that can help you make your decision.
Loft conversions are easier and less expensive for developers to make because they don't have to tear down the old building and build a new one in its place. The bones of the structure are sound and solid, so often all that is required is to put in extra floors and walls to enclose each loft. Toronto's loft conversion developers for example, can squeeze a dozen units or more out of the original open space found in just one warehouse depending on the size of the lofts and the original warehouse. If you would like to see some of the loft units available in and around Toronto, contact an agent here. Lofts are generally found on the top floor while standard apartments are created from the main warehouse floor.
Warehouse lofts are popular with artists and other people who work in creative professions because they have lots of natural light and a large open space which can be arranged into any combination of living and working space. Converted lofts are also popular with struggling artists because they're more affordable. When the neighborhood has been newly revamped from a derelict industrial district, the prices compare favorably to other lofts for sale, but that doesn't last long. You need to get in on the ground floor to get a good deal.
Many lofts can seem too modern and samey to real estate buyers who are used to homes with more character. If this is the case with you, a converted loft may be the way to go. Converted lofts make use of the original brick walls, exposed timber beams, 10+ foot ceilings, huge windows, and scarred hardwood flooring that originally characterized the upper floor of a warehouse where the management offices were located. Often all the developer adds is a few interior walls, leaving the original character intact and giving your home a historical connection.
There are some disadvantages to choosing a converted loft, however. Converted lofts are not as well insulated as purpose built units, as the walls tend to be made of the original brick and the windows are usually large single pane industrial glass. It is also not common for a converted loft warehouse to have any communal features, such as underground parking, workout rooms, security, or a concierge service.