New Homes: All That Glitters Can Be Gold

Written by Posted On Monday, 18 February 2008 16:00

With the housing crisis in full bloom, sometimes it's good to take comfort in ways builders and architects are defying the odds -- such as taking a 1930s Los Angeles theater district art-deco high rise building and turning it into loft condominiums.

Clad in stunning turquoise terra cotta and gold leaf, the Eastern Columbia Outfitting Companies' 13-story art deco retail tower epitomized the height of opulence when it was finished during the Great Depression. Today, this historic landmark dazzles anew, offering buyers a timeless backdrop for urban living.

Eastern Columbia Lofts, situated moments from downtown LA hotspots, such as the Staples Center, the arts district and Disney Hall is in what is referred to as Los Angeles' authentic commercial downtown, where Beaux Arts and Art Deco Buildings are now home to forward-thinking, but nostalgic residents, shops, restaurants and cultural magnets.

The Los Angeles-based Kor Group and its partners, who conceived the details of the building's conversion, made sure to accentuate the structure's classic features while eliminating the old, tired or impractical ones.

Ceiling heights, which vary by floor, were left intact within the steel-reinforced concrete structure, but the spaces created within them were demolished and refitted with 147 airy, light-filled lofts, blending modern fixtures and finishes with vintage period details, including their windows, columns, beams and moldings.

More than half of the lofts were snatched up by young, affluent professionals when sales opened in late 2005, according to the Kor Group, and only a few remain for sale.

The building also houses a sky-high pool deck, a leisure terrace and a fitness studio. A 1732 sq. ft. 2-bedroom, 2 bath loft home in this historic building goes for between $900,000 and a cool million.

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