Lofts for rent

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March 28, 2005 // UPDATED 1:53 pm - April 26, 2007
By: David Brauer
David Brauer

Not every warehouse-turned-loft space comes with a for-sale sign.

At the Historic Crane Building, 404 3rd Ave. N., developer John Osterbauer is turning the four-story structure's third floor into nine apartments. The 800-to-1,150-square-foot units - featuring the requisite high ceilings, big windows, exposed brick and open layouts - will rent for $796 to $1,350 a month when they open in May.

Osterbauer - who bought North Loop building in 1982 for his now-dormant bicycle supply business - says he doesn't want to sell the property just yet, "so apartments seemed the best choice."

He's no rookie landlord ignorant of the soft rental market; the building's fourth floor has contained apartments for a decade, which have been consistently leased, Osterbauer said.

That may come as a surprise because the ground floor tenant is Tropix nightclub - not exactly the quietest neighbor.

Osterbauer notes that there's an entire floor between the third-floor units and the first-floor club, with two layers of sheetrock sandwiched with 6 inches of sound insulation on the second-floor ceilings. "There's a certain kind of person who just doesn't mind it a bit," he said of the nightclub factor.

Tropix has the option to stay in the building through 2006, with nothing set beyond that, Osterbaurer said.

The units feel large, bright and authentically Downtown. The Warehouse District light-rail stop is two blocks away, and there are literally thousands of parking spots available in the neighboring ramps (tenants do have to buy their own parking space off-site). The south-facing views of Downtown are compelling - if you don't look too far down at the highway ramp. The silver lining is that nothing will ever block that cool Downtown skyline view.

Leases will typically run a year but are negotiable, Osterbauer said. At press time, five of the nine units were rented. For rental information, call 333-2581.