What the Heck is an Industrial Loft?

Industrial lofts with their glorious space and stunning lighting have become the dream of apartment renters in big cities around the world. These repurposed live-work spaces were once the digs of artists seeking a cheap space to create and live in while not breaking their slim budgets. As they’ve gained popularity, prices have skyrocketed, introducing ‘luxury’ industrial lofts complete with hardwood floors, WiFi, and other 21stcentury amenities people come to expect from urban living.

The term ‘loft’ in NYC is oftentimes misleading. An apartment is considered a loft or ‘lofted’ if it features just one room (much like a studio) in which the kitchen, living room, bedroom, and sometimes even the bathroom, are all located in one large space with a balcony area for a bed. These lofts are usually located in a building originally designed for apartments or office spaces that have been converted with new layouts. Industrial lofts by comparison, are spaces converted from older industrial buildings or factories and are much more spacious—usually with square footage in the thousands.

Industrial lofts are huge—they have extra-large windows by the dozens, exposed ductwork and dizzyingly tall ceilings. The luxury loft buildings have usually been completely renovated to accommodate modern, though some may still have communal bathrooms and freight type elevators to move about the building while others might have a doorman and passenger elevators—what you’d come to expect from luxury accommodations.

Regardless, lofts in NYC for rent are rare and expensive. A quick search on our end turned up a life/work loft in Chelsea for $8,000 a month at 2200 square feet—and that was on the cheap end. On a good day, expect to pay at the least, $5,000 a month for a true loft. If you’re looking to buy a loft outright though the investment can reap benefits when analyzing the price per square foot.

Buyer beware though—these large spaces are expensive to maintain. Heating and cooling a room with such tall ceilings (and often poorly insulated at that) can come at a huge cost, especially in those lofts that have forced air heat. Don’t be surprised if the space is noisy too—industrial lofts are live/work spaces for many, meaning you could be sharing a floor with a business.