Over the past ten years in Kansas City, lofts in downtown or on the Plaza have become the hot choice for urban living. And these Kansas City lofts have been a mixed bag of projects. On the Plaza there have been two types of projects, the apartment building remodel and brand new buildings. While downtown and midtown have been the more traditional lofts; old warehouses with concrete floors and high ceilings converted to open living quarters. Until the recent economic downtown, all three choices were very popular.
Loft living has led the revitalization of the downtown area. There were earlier talks of new projects in the inner area, but nothing happened until developers tool the lead and offered downtown a different type of living option. Until the start of the loft movement you would not even find a grocery store within five miles of downtown. There were no movie theaters or bowling alleys nearby. The only activity downtown after dark was suburbanites or conventioneers dining at the local popular restaurants.
We now have the new Sprint Arena and the Power and Light District, an area across from the arena loaded popular eating and drinking establishments. There is a new grocery store, as well as new movie theaters and bowling allies. You will find downtown a buzz most any night of the year.
In the good old days loft living meant living cheaply in wide open quarters. While we did not have many here in Kansas City, movies exposed us to that young romantic life style. In the typical movie portraying lofts, the occupants were usually struggling actors. With the increased popularity of lofts has also come an increase in the price tag. The price range of lofts in our city goes from upper one hundred thousand to a few million dollars. And the occupants are more likely to be middle to older age. These professional people who have no children at home are attracted to the idea of no outside maintenance, no long computes to work, and the convenience of walking distance restaurants, shops and sporting events. Also, the trend of working at home fits right into the loft living way of life.
Loft living is somewhat of a new trend in Kansas City, and the development of new lofts has slowed with the downturn of the economy. But there is no denying that lofts led the revitalization of downtown, and when the local recession ends, lofts will again be in high demand.
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