Home Buying in 02139>Question Details

Nick, Home Buyer in Cambridge, MA

I'm looking for a historic loft in Cambridge such as the ones that just sold at 305 Cambridge St.

Asked by Nick, Cambridge, MA Thu Apr 10, 2008

I'd prefer to find something around Central Square or Inman Square. There is rarely anything on the market that fits the bill. What should I do?

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This could be a tough order and the best way to approach this is to work with a broker who will help you target properties that match your needs. If you are working with the right agent they would be on the look out for properties that match your needs and may even know of some that are not listed in the MLS.

In addition if you have identified a building that you want to live in your agent can mail the building looking to see if anyone is interested in selling their unit on the market. You need to find an aggressive buyer's agent especially in this seller's market.

The other option is to expand your search into other communities like Somerville, Boston, or maybe even Chelsea.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2012

Did you have any luck finding a loft that fits your taste?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 12, 2009
Have you looked at 99 Otis? It's a converted church from 1939. A gorgeous and unique space, huge ceilings (cathedral!), with two garage spots and loads of storage in the basement. They've dropped the asking price down to $729K but a little bird told me any offer starting with a 7 might do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 26, 2008
There are very few lofts complex available around Inman and Central, and throughout Cambridge. Check out artists lofts community or be in touch with an agent that perfectly knows what you're looking for, and alert you early enough for you to grab the opportunity.
Web Reference: http://terrabliss.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 16, 2008
Also, if you are looking for the developer start with Gary Gilbert. He is the owner of those lofts and is the one who developed them (got permission to convert from commercial to 2 residential loft spaces).

I am sure you can find him online.
Web Reference: http://www.territoryre.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
Those lofts were incredible! My client almost bought the top floor unit when it came on the market.
Generally speaking, It's difficult to find historic lofts in Boston/Cambridge. My suggestion is chase the architecture and be open to where you live (I.e, go look at all the historic lofts on the market in the various neighborhoods and then see how you feel). Unfortunately, you may have to be flexible on where you live to get that perfect incredible space.

Other places to consider are: the Leather District (the historic loft conversions here are a personal fav'), the North End (specifically the building on 120 Fulton street - converted elevator factory - rare to market but spectacular), brewery lofts in JP, some buildings in the Seaport District, and Aberdeen Way in Cambridge was a great loft conversion done a couple years ago. Plus there are these amazing artist lofts in Central Square on Brookline Street. They rarely come on the market but there is one right now.

The alternative is that you buy something with historic charm, get a contractor who does this kind of work and design your own loft.

Here are some good examples:


Great price per square foot:

Here are two you could play with:

Brookline Street loft, central square -pic's don't do justice:


Here is an interesting alternative in Beacon Hill - similar floor place as 305 Cambridge, perhaps not as much industrial charm?:

This awesome one is in South Boston and has tons of historic architectural detail:

True Leather District loft:

This loft is another personal favorite that just had a huge price reduction - the developer did an incredible job. The location is awesome and the interiors are great (pictures don't do it justice ):
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
Try going to the Cambridge Building Department (between Central and Harvard on Mass ave) and just ask them who was pulling the permits for the project.

"Would it be reasonable to talk t a developer that could find a building an convert it?"
I think you'd be spinning your tires going about it this way, plus you're adding years to your timeframe, especially if you're talking about developing an entire loft building.

You have a pretty specific search, and you can only play the cards that you're dealt.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 13, 2008
How can I find out who did the work at 305? I've tried asking the sales agent, Lenore Hill, and she has been less than helpful. Any ideas on how to get this info?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 12, 2008
If you have the resources to do your own project, that's fantastic. I would guess that you might have to be patient enough to wait for the right building to become available, and then of course have a developer lined up. I would try and get in touch with the developer of places that you do like (305 Cambridge), and have a conversation with them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 11, 2008
Davis is really not where we're looking. We looked at those lofts, but they seem overpriced. Would it be reasonable to talk t a developer that could find a building an convert it? Anyone know of anyone that specializes in this type of thing?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 11, 2008
If Davis Square in Somerville isn't too far, try the Davis Square Lofts on Tannery Brook. Less than 5 min walk to the Red Line. Some of the buildings are new construction while others are historic.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 10, 2008
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