Developer Michael Lerner has seen more than his share of Chicago loft buildings, so when he praises the new No. Ten Lofts, 1040 W. Adams, as a rare find, he knows of what he speaks.
“It’s a true loft building-which is starting to become a rare commodity in Chicago,” said Lerner, president of MCZ Development Corp. and co-developer of the new condominium lofts with Centrum Properties. “There’s a warmth and depth to the timber-beamed ceilings, and the building’s large windows let in a ton of natural light.”
The reason, it should be said, that such prime loft buildings are becoming rare in Chicago can be attributed in some degree to Lerner’s success. In the mid- to late ’90s, he and various partners converted a long line of former commercial buildings into successful residential loft developments. The projects ranged from the China Club Lofts and Randolph Place, in a forgotten corner of the West Loop that has since seen a boom in new housing, to projects like Willow Square and Altgeld Court, in more settled locations.
Earlier loft projects from other developers frequently offered rough-hewn spaces with poor (or no) finishes and spotty construction standards. As one of the pioneers in Chicago’s ’90s loft boom, Lerner drew on his construction experience to give buyers comfortable lofts that didn’t suffer from problems of sound transmission, excessive dust and uneven heating.
So why are these buildings becoming rare? Well, there are a limited number and most of the best ones in good locations already have been converted. No. Ten Lofts is an exceptional find, according to Jennifer Arons, senior vice president of Centrum Properties, because the courtyard building avoids the long, dark units common in some loft projects.
“People love our floor plans,” Arons said. “Many are wider, light-filled layouts, not just long and narrow plans found in most loft developments.”
And those units apparently have struck a chord with buyers. At press time, Centrum and MCZ were nearly sold out of the first phase of 208 units, and were opening a second phase in the 266-unit heavy timber building.
The unit mix ranges from a studio of 640 square feet to a 1,845-square-foot two-bedroom with a den and two baths. Priced begin in the low $200s. In addition to large floor plans and free parking, the high level of standards has been a big draw, according to Arons. Features include granite countertops, hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, custom cabinets and balconies or terraces with every unit.
The building also has a private owners club with a fitness center, a café, a full kitchen, billiards and a media room.
“In addition to great floor plans, No. Ten Lofts is a lifestyle development, creating a great place to socialize and entertain,” Arons said. “Much thought went into designing the building amenities that would appeal to urban residents.”
Architects Hartshorne & Plunkard designed 109 different floor plans for the building, so very few residences will be the same. Built in 1920, the vintage four-story main loft building on Adams between Morgan and Aberdeen features three private landscaped courtyards. Another section of the former warehouse building rises to six stories.
A sales center for No. Ten Lofts, www.TenLofts.com, is open on site, at 1040 W. Adams.