Prairie District Lofts bucks market trends

Prairie District Lofts

Kargil Development Senior Vice President Brian Giles cracks a wry smile when questioned about Prairie District Lofts, Kargil’s 116-unit loft conversion at 1727 S Indiana Ave in the South Loop.

“In this market, it’s all about price point,” says Giles. “We’re 50 percent sold and averaging about one sale a week, and it’s because our loft conversion has a price point that is at least 30 percent and in some cases 40 percent less than new construction. As a result, we haven’t been caught up in the slowdown that has affected so many others.”

Giles could not be more straightforward. What goes unsaid, however, is that the five-story building, erected in 1905 for Kodak and later converted into a rental apartment building, has been transformed into a gorgeous, $36-million loft condominium in one of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods.

Don’t forget the historical angle. It plays a big part in the minds of some buyers, according to Giles, who says that the building’s brick and timber have an appeal to many who can find all kinds of steel and glass wherever they look.

The location, on the edge of the Prairie Avenue Historical District, also draws attention. Residents can be part of the restoration of a historic neighborhood, yet be minutes away from the fast pace of the Loop.

Prairie District Lofts features a common roof deck, a fitness center, laundry room, a beautiful landscaped atrium on the lobby level, two elevators, an intercom entry with closed-circuit security system, and private storage spaces. Free outdoor parking is provided until January 2011. Indoor parking is also available.

With as many as 70 different floor plans, Prairie District Lofts includes one-bedrooms, duplexes and triplexes, with prices ranging from the $220s for a 735 square-foot, one-bedroom / one-bath unit, to the $520s for a 2,026 square-foot, three-bedroom / four-bath unit.

The residences have exposed brick walls, 12- to 20-foot ceiling heights, timber and concrete beams and columns, fireplaces, track lighting and hardwood floors. Other features include washer / dryer hookups, oversized insulated windows, custom vertical blinds, individual gas furnace with humidifier, air-conditioning system, individual hot-water heater and wiring for cable television.

The finishes add a modern touch to the historical loft decor. The kitchens come with stainless-steel appliance packages, granite countertops, polished chrome fixtures and designer cabinetry with 42-inch upper cabinets available in several styles.

Special features in some of the floor plans include kitchen islands or breakfast bars, recreation rooms, private garages, arched windows, walk-in closets and skylights.

One of the most popular floor plans is the one-bedroom duplex with two baths, which has more than 1,000 square feet of living space and a private roof deck. The living room ceiling rises two levels with a spiral staircase leading to the loft level. The master bedroom overlooks the living room, and a spiral staircase leads to the roof deck.

The sales center for Prairie District Lofts is located at 1727 S Indiana Ave. It is open from noon to 5 p.m. weekdays and noon to 6 p.m. on weekends, or by appointment.

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