Thrush built loft-style units in West Loop tower – the 14-story tower at 740 Fulton broke ground in June 2005 designed by Architect Pat FitzGerald.
“With the walls of glass, great open loft-style floor plans, and 11-foot and 18-foot-high ceilings, residents will feel as if they are living large in a loft,” FitzGerald said. “But the views at 740 Fulton will be better because the building is six to eight stories higher than a traditional loft.”
But ceiling height does not a loft make. What else? Well, there are the open floor plans, the exposed ductwork, the hardwood floors, and did we mention that those ceilings were painted concrete? Seven-forty Fulton certainly qualifies as loft-like, but these condos also come with stainless steel kitchen appliances and granite counters. The building has a private fitness center, a business center with high-speed Internet access and satellite TV, and a 24-hour concierge service. Are these the creature comforts of a loft, a form of housing that started because artists were too poor to afford separate living and working spaces?
For more than a decade now, true Chicago lofts have been evolving to offer first-class finishes and amenities, a trend that started with developers like Hal Lichterman and Bruce Abrams, continued with projects like the Sexton and Union Square, and is still going strong. Fewer true lofts are on the market now than during the flood of the mid- to late ‘90s, and the dearth of convertible loft buildings is one reason builders began imitating lofts in new construction.