Old Town lofts attract new residents

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Tony Black

There are perks of living in a loft rather than a house or apartment like no outside maintenance and being in the center of downtown.

Old Town lofts are high in demand and don’t stay on the market very long, said Brian Huggler, realtor and owner of buildings in Old Town.

“We’ve had zero vacancy in the past ten years. In fact, when one person moves out, usually they’ve got a friend that wants to move in,” Huggler said.

With loft living, you get a different lifestyle than you would in a house or other form of living.

“You’ve got the really tall, generally speaking, ceilings; you’re right in the heart of Old Town,” Huggler said.

Brian Snyder, an artist living in an Old Town loft, compares living in Old Town lofts to living in a Chicago or New York City loft.

“As an artist, the loft style fits me perfectly because, you know, there’s a lot of open space and it serves, not only as my living space, but also my studio,” Snyder said.

Huggler owns buildings 208, 303, 305, 307 and 309, all on East Grand River Avenue and said these lofts are all different from one another in terms of layout.

 

 

Snyder has seen the vacancy change from when he moved here.

“Originally, when I moved here, there was a few empty spaces, but right now it seems to be really popular,” Snyder said.

Summer Schriner owns the building on 509 E. Grand River Ave which consists of her shop, Grace Boutique, on the street level.

Above her shop, she owns the four lofts around 1,000 square feet each; one of which she lives in.

She, too, said she has seen the vacancy of lofts change in past years.

“As the neighborhood improves, more and more people want to live here,” she said.

Snyder has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years and has been in three lofts since.

“Being an artist, lofts are considered, you know, primary space, studio space,” he said.

 

Schriner loves the benefits that come with living in an older, historic building.

“It’s nice living in an old building,” she said. “It’s always nice to have all the beautiful hardwood floors and the brick”

Living in the heart of Old Town comes with many conveniences, said Snyder.

 

With people wanting to move to Old Town lofts, it brings economic benefits to the neighborhood, Huggler said.

“There are people living there so a lot of them are spending money as well so I think it helps the overall economy in that area,” Huggler said.

Snyder said he constantly has people asking about the loft availability in Old Town.

 

“There’s a lot of people who would like to move down and live in a loft in Old Town,” he said.

Huggler said these residents are all sorts of people with different backgrounds.

From single people to married couples starting a family, the lofts accommodate all, Huggler said.

Schriner said it’s people from all walks of live that live in these buildings.

 

These residents pay to live in the heart of Old Town.

“I really believe, not only are you paying to live in the area, but for the space that you receive. I would rate it very far compared to, say, some of the other cities that I’ve seen in the past with lofts where rent could be $2,500 to $3,000,” Snyder said.

 

He said the prices may not be the cheapest, but you get what you pay for in Old Town.