Lofts are a popular type of real estate among Chicagoans–and it’s no wonder why.
With their stand-out architectural elements, stunning features like exposed brick and soaring ceilings, and, in many cases, prime locations in the city, they’re as unique as those who live in them.
Boasting storied backgrounds and past lives, each and every one is different. There are the old pencil factory lofts. The countless mixed-use, live-and-work lofts. School and church conversions lofts. Even old brewery lofts.
When browsing for Chicago lofts for sale the options are endless.
About Chicago Lofts
Open, airy and often historic, Chicago’s lofts are particularly popular with young professionals–ones looking for a quick walk to work and easy access to Chicago’s sights and sounds.
Generally, Chicago’s lofts fall into on of these two eras:
- 90s-2000 era – These usually have unique, unexpected layouts due to the lower cost of real estate at the time, and they’re a little funkier than today’s newly built lofts. They also have true, loft-style walls that stop just short of the ceiling.
- 2000-today – Modern lofts have a more traditional in layout and often have a more refined feel than older ones. They have full walls, real do, rs and more expected arrangements. There are a few exceptions, of course. Some builders have intentionally created modern lofts with a more raw feel to them–mimicking older style lofts from decades past.
Chicago lofts also typically fall into either the timber style or the concrete style. Concrete lofts boast concrete floors and pillars and often have a colder feel than timber ones. They’re very insulated from noise and sound. Timber lofts, on the other hand, are warmer–both in temperature and in atmosphere. They also tend to be noisier than concrete lofts.
One of the most interesting tidbits about Chicago lofts is that many of them weren’t actually built to be lofts. In fact, some of the city’s most popular lofts are housed in old movie production facilities, factories, churches, schools and more.
Just check out this recently sold loft. Located in a converted church, it offers sweeping views, a spacious layout, unique features and a prime location on Chicago’s North Side. Lofts like this pop up all over the city as developers repurpose old and existing buildings.
The Loft Lifestyle
Loft living is a truly unique experience—especially for those who choose one of the many historic or themed lofts located in the city.
Consider the Pencil Factory Lofts, for example. Branded for their interesting background and one-of-a-kind story, they give residents a glimpse into times past with their 1920s-era architectural elements and throwback features. They’re authentic, interesting and real—exactly what loft living’s meant to be.
Other local lofts that lend themselves to this unique style of living include:
The Locomobile LoftsOne of many auto-inspired lofts. These lofts are located at 2000 S Michigan Ave, in South Loop.
The Prairie District LoftsThese lofts are situated in an old Kodak facility, at 1727 S Indiana Ave, in Prairie District/Near South Side.
The Donohue BuildingLocated on Printer's Row, along with The Manhattan Building, The Paper Place Lofts and The Rowe Building. These old warehouses are now converted to stylish loft condos.
The Cinema LoftsThe Cinema Lofts are located in a 1920s movie house at 1635 W Belmont Ave, Lakeview.
Best Brewing Company LoftsOne of countless brewery lofts. The Best Brewing Company building has been built in 1888. It's located at 1301 West Fletcher Street, in Lake View.
Hot Loft Neighborhoods
You can find lofts all across the city, but if you’re looking for Chicago lofts for sale some neighborhoods have more options than others.
West Loop, for example, is a particularly popular spot for lofts. Located close to the city’s cutting-edge tech and startup companies, its one of Chicago’s hottest places to live.
West Loop lofts offer easy access to restaurants, cafes and nightlife, as well as great public schools. Local lofts come in all kinds of styles—timber, concrete, mixed-use and conversions—and start at just $450-$500K for smaller, 1,200-1,300 square foot properties.
PROS: Close to tech startups offices, hot and trending, plenty of cafes and people, a great number of lofts (both timber and concrete)
CONS: Pricier than any other neighborhood, the neighborhood has mostly lofts so the view can be “monothematic”
River North is another top spot for lofts, offering quick access to the Magnificent Mile shopping district. It’s famous for its fine art and design and is well known for its affordable timber-style lofts. They generally run from $425-$450K for a 1,200-1,300 square foot unit.
PROS: Well established neighborhood, stylish neighborhood that borders Magnificent Mile and is just across the bridge from The Loop, great timber lofts
CONS: Not as “hot” as West Loop, Price just below West Loop
Logan Square/Bucktown, a former industrial area is also popular for loft lovers. With tons of historic and unique conversion lofts, it offers the most vintage properties in the city. The neighborhood is popular with younger buyers, has great schools and is located conveniently near public transport. Because of its differentiated housing, many people relocate from lofts to single-family homes without having to switch neighborhood. Lofts in Logan Square are usually priced at $400K or lower.
PROS: Plenty of old-school/original lofts, each loft has an identity associated with the history of the building, differentiated housing, great price!
CONS: Not as hot as the previous neighborhoods but “great bang for the buck”
Ravenswood Corridor is an interesting two-mile strip from Irving Park to Peterson, following the metro line. It’s full of unique and historic buildings, as well as popular yoga and design studios. The corridor is easily one of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods and offers quick, easy access to downtown. Lofts ranges from $375 to $425K here.
PROS: Interesting and trending location, unique buildings, fast growing neighborhoods and great lofts
CONS: Still developing
South Loop is another Windy City hub for lofts, thanks to its property-filled Printers’ Row area. It’s a very residential neighborhood, making it great for families, and it offers many luxury properties for higher-end shoppers. The average sized loft in the area runs between $375K and $425K with the north being more expensive.
PROS: One of Chicago’s original residential areas, unique lofts
CONS: While residential development was booming a few years ago, non-residential development didn’t have the same growth.
Love Lofts? Come to Chicago
For loft lovers, there’s no better place to call home than Chicago.
From the busy West Loop and River North areas to smaller neighborhoods like Roscoe Village, Lincoln Square and Edgewater, the city is brimming with loft options from top to bottom.
Want more recommendations on Chicago lofts? Not sure if loft living is for you? Then talk to local agent Robert Safranski. He’s our loft guru and can give you the guidance you need.