When I got into real estate six years ago, the Pearl District was of course long a hot commodity, and I was initially quite intoxicated by the idea of condo-living. I was drawn to the simplicity of the spaces, the idea of a life that demanded less personal belongings, and a feeling of being in the center of a busy urban center. However as more and more buildings went up, it seemed that so many of the low-to-mid range units were becoming increasingly unappealing, if not plainly dull. It really felt, or still feels, that from a design standpoint only the high-end units receive the kind of attention that should have been evident throughout the building. Thankfully this has changed with a number of the new smaller developments on the east side.
The main reason I wanted to visit this unit was because I’d never been in the Modern Confectionary Lofts before and it piqued my interest. Built in 1900 as the city’s first confectionary production plant, it was converted some ninety years later by developer by Robert Ball. With retail on the ground floor the rest of the building houses just six units.
In order to make best use of light, deck space and views, the unit is configured upside down with two bedrooms and a den on the entry-level and an open plan living/dining/kitchen upstairs. What is lovely about all of these units is the exposed brick walls throughout each of the rooms, a feature that brings a rich historic depth to both the interiors and of course the exterior of the building. With the city’s inexplicable desire to knock down so many of its architectural and historic treasures over the last century, this simple and rare reminder of what once was is one of the building’s great appeals.
On the lower level, the large master bedroom sits just off the front door, with a galley walk-in closet and master bathroom on either end of the room. A wall of storage, in the second bedroom, hides both a Murphy bed and a large TV amongst other things, allowing the room to be both guest bedroom and media room, depending on your needs. A second full bath is tucked off to the side. One of the highlights of the home for me is something remarkably simple and effective. Many would have been tempted to box in the open-tread staircase to take advantage of the space for storage, and given space restriction that wouldn’t have been a crime. Instead bookcases have built into the form of the wall, showing off the stairs and the book collection in one simple move. Eye-catching and deft. A den completes the level with additional built-in bookshelves and cupboards.
Upstairs the Great room stretches the length of the condo, three walls of large windows and a couple of skylights just to capture any last bit of light that might have tried to escape through the vaulted ceilings. Outside the deck wraps around two sides of the upper level, spacious enough for dinner outside and watching the world go by.
The interior design has been taken in a traditional direction though I would love to see it with a more contemporary makeover. It has the potential to blow away a lot of the cookie-cutter high rises around it. More importantly though, this is a rare chance to not only live in a great condo, but a special building right in the heart of the Pearl. All the right ingredients, when all is said and done, as to why someone would want to buy a condo in the first place.
Priced at $899,000.
This listing has now been CANCELLED.
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