So what kind of ‘loft’ is it really?

Everything and anything remotely resembling a residential loft is being marketed as loft (a short history here), so rather than resist, it may be more effective to sub-categorize them. Based on Barbara Thornburg’s You call this a loft? in the L.A. Times…

Artist’s loft – A true artist loft is like a blank canvas – unfinished, unfurnished, and costs next to nothing. These also tend to be expansive (ie 4000 s.f.) to accommodate the artists’ work. This is what SOHO used to have a lot of many, many years ago.

Demi-Lofts – These are the most common of the loft types on the market today – old commercial buildings converted into regular-sized residential units priced at irregularly high prices. This is what SOHO is known for now. The lower image is a typical example.

New-Construction Lofts (Loft Lite) – Brand new ‘loft’ units positioned as luxury housing. Lots of granite, stainless steel, expensive woods, glass and no history. One positive is that these can feature state-of-the-art/green building energy saving systems, as well as generous natural lighting. Example: Warehouses at Union Row (top image.)

CoolTown Lofts – Not really in existence yet, but these would be new or retrofitted ‘lofts’ with extensive daylighting, high ceilings, green building certification, wireless broadband throughout, located in walkable neighborhoods, and sold unfinished in smaller sizes so that they’re actually affordable to the rest of us.

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