Christopher Danesi at RE/MAX Accord

News > Low Loft Inventory Continues to Plague the East Bay

published on 2015-09-07

What’s not to love about a loft? Wide-open spaces, walls of windows, an airy feel; lofts are the ultimate expression of urban cool. But buyers looking for an urban loft in the East Bay have had little to choose from lately as current owners have been holding, and new developments have been scarce.

A generation ago, the loft lifestyle was traditionally enjoyed by creative types; artists, musicians, authors, designers. A loft was an affordable way to acquire an enormous amount of live-work space in the city's heart. Those early lofts were simply giant, open spaces in historic buildings, with no interior walls, exposed rafters, exposed ductwork, brick walls and lots of windows.

In recent decades, however, people of all different lifestyles, backgrounds and professions have been gravitating back into America’s urban centers. As suburban ex-pats have returned to city life, homebuyers of all stripes have come to realize the undeniable appeal of open floor plans, exposed stone and woodwork, and light-filled spaces.

Why not enjoy the absolute maximum amount of available space? Why not have entire walls of floor-to-ceiling windows? Why not embrace the beauty of city views and the excitement of city ambiance?

Demand for lofts in neighboring San Francisco has skyrocketed, which has come with an unparalleled rise in prices and is driving some loft enthusiasts eastward, across the Bay. Oakland and Emeryville are home to dozens of loft communities. A handful of them occupy modern, architect-designed spaces that have been expertly conjured to maximize the benefits of space and light. Most, however, pay homage to Oakland's industrial past by adhering to classic loft style, meaning they're located in repurposed, historic buildings once used as warehouses or manufacturing centers (like the Besler Building Lofts). Some are so old school they’re in old schools (like the West Clawson Lofts).

As prices all over the Bay Area have shot upward, most of the East Bay loft owners have stayed put. Though there are hundreds of loft units in existence in Oakland and Emeryville, less than half a dozen are currently on the market. Buyers who acquired lofts say, 5, 10 or even 20 years ago have since seen their entire neighborhoods change. Some developments have had so little turnover in recent years, it's hard to imagine what their true current value might be.

Until more new East Bay lofts are built, or more existing  loft owners decide to test out the market, it looks like East Bay loft shoppers will continue to have little from which to choose. But don’t despair, loft lovers. Once in a while amazing opportunities do come up in the East Bay. And what does come available still comes at a price below the San Francisco market.  The key is to be ready to move when something great comes up.  Contact us to day to get started.


Though not guaranteed, information and statistics in this article have been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

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This is the place to be if you want to live in the heart of Emeryville. Walk to IKEA, Pixar and the Bay Street shopping mall. Open floor plans with high ceilings offer you a light and airy living atmosphere.

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Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed. The information being provided is for consumer's personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This information, including square footage, while not guaranteed, has been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

Last Updated: 2024-07-16