Chicago lofts get softer and keep selling

The Lofts at the VicChicago developers like to say that they can judge a loft development’s potential for success by how horrified the buyer’s parents are when they see it. Well Mom can breathe easier because these days lofts are looking a lot less raw. Last week we told you about the trendy glasshouses cropping up on roof decks, but since then we’ve spotted brightly-colored feature walls, quartz countertop tiles, lots of drywall and – gasp – even curtains.

Most of those features come standard at the very popular The Lofts at the Vic, a conversion by Joseph Freed Homes of the old bank at Belmont and Sheffield avenues. The drapes aren’t actually included in the package, but an interior designer added them to a model unit being used to market the lofts and the developer’s next condo project The Residences at the Vic, a new construction midrise being built next door.

At many new loft developments, buyers are opting for fully-partitioned bedroom walls, feeling that the half-walls that used to be a more popular feature on lofts don’t provide enough sound insulation or privacy.

But if you like the raw look, several loft developments are still offering exposed concrete ceilings, as is the case on one of the units at The Vic.

“The ceiling is a selling point; [buyers] generally like it,” says one sales agent.

And the parents? Some think it’s “cool.” But several, including at least one mother who hails from Green Bay, Wisconsin and is the proud owner of several covered tea cosies, had a different response. “Their parents come in and say, ‘Well what are they doing with the ceiling?’ ” the agent tells us.

Buyers don’t seem to care what Mom thinks. The Vic is 85 percent sold and every two-bedroom unit was snapped up on opening day.

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