Lofts are sexy

I often get email blasts from agents about their listings, some of which are over the top, some just barely alive. For purposes of this discussion, I am amused by the apartment listings from non-loft neighborhoods that describe the apartments as “loft-like”.
Over-selling to other agents?
Maybe it is just me, but I figure that people who would be interested in “loft-like” apartments in Manhattan would be very interested in actual lofts. And if they were interested in real lofts, they would not be looking for apartments in … say … the Upper East Side. But enough professional agents disagree that I can keep a collection of listing announcements for “loft-like” apartments that do not seem very much like lofts to me. But maybe they do to people who really like Upper East Side (standard) apartments.
How many points for an open litchen?
Take the Hampton House, a 32 story condominium tower built in 1985, that is at 404 East 79 St. Looking at pictures of listings on the web for this building, the ceiling heights look pretty standard at less than 9 feet. Foroogh Zarinehbaf at Nest Seekers Apartment 4A has offered for sale (though “temporarily off the market” as of last week), with inter-broker emails describing it as “loft-like”. It looks like a pretty standard (cookie-cutter) UES 2 bedroom layout, with an open kitchen, with about 1100 square feet. About the only thing in the description, floor plan or photos that is at all “loft-like” is an open kitchen.
I don’t think so.
A loft antonym?
Then there’s the 1950s East Side former rental building at 150 East 56 St that is about the least “loft-like” buildings imaginable: white brick, small windows, low ceilings. But Matthew Yee at Corcoran is marketing 11B to agents as a giant loft-like 850 square foot one bedroom apartment. In addition to the (obligatory) open kitchen, this one has a large open space for the kitchen, dining area and living room (20x 28 feet), which could be loft-like with a higher ceiling, with bigger windows, with a whole lot of other things it does not have.

No suspense, but I don’t think so.

The incredible shrunken loft (not)
Finally, a nice try. Unit 2C at 331 East 92 St is a studio that looks like no more than 250 square feet, described by Steve Lopez at Benjamin James as an elegant loft-like studio with soaring high pressed tin ceiling, beautiful exposed brick wall,, which is a mouthful (especially for a tiny studio). Soaring ceilings sounds like a loft. Lots of authentic lofts have pressed tin ceilings and/or exposed brick walls. And – of course – open kitchens (how could it be otherwise in a tiny studio??). But there is nothing loft-like that can be encompassed within 250 square feet.

Partial credit for the nice try, but I don’t think so.
Hint to buyers: if you want something "like" a loft, don’t shop on the Upper East Side.
© Sandy Mattingly 2006
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