The coming DePaul Arena looks like it may be attracting residents

The coming DePaul Arena looks like it may be attracting residents
Vesta Lofts Model Photo/Rick Knoell

Vesta Lofts, a newly renovated and adaptively reused 59-unit luxury loft rental at 21st and Indiana--which 100 years ago was Vesta Battery (and other things like auto lights and accessories)--appears to be having a heyday.  And not just because the building recently landed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to Aaron Galvin, the managing broker and owner of Luxury Living Chicago Realty, which is the exclusive marketing and leasing brokerage for Vesta Lofts, 52 units were leased in 45 days after they went on the market.

So there are only seven left.  And those are expected to go within the next few days, during which time, the current sales models will be deconstructed and the new residents will be moving in.  The construction left to do in the common areas will be finished  by construction workers working like busy beavers from now until then, as well.  Aside from 7,000 square feet of space on the ground level that is being reserved for a restaurant or two in the near future.

Vesta Lofts Photo/Rick Knoell

Vesta Lofts Photo/Rick Knoell

I went over there yesterday to have a look.  And something is attracting (the mostly) young professionals to this building.  In a hurry.  It's a nice building, to be sure, with charming exposed brick and wooden beams, tall ceilings, moveable kitchen islands, nice closets, nice washer/dryer combos, some balconies, some patios--and a nice common roof deck that will house barbecue grills, and which has breathtaking  views of the South Loop, including a modern windmill in the distance--and a newly painted yellow water tank (unused and there just for history's sake) on the Vesta Lofts' roof.

Vesta Battery Company

Vesta Battery Company

Oh, it also has a utility package made up of heat, air, water, internet and cable.  And there's outdoor parking for $125 a month for whoever needs it.  (Galvin says prospective tenants always come ready with their iPads to judge the speed of the internet connection.)  And yes, the rents are reasonable--about $2.15 per square foot.

But there's something else about Vesta Lofts.  It's also in the shadow, or will be, of the new and very controversial DePaul Arena.  The lot upon which it will be built is right across the street.  Many Chicagoans are appalled that City money and DePaul University money is going to be used to build an expensive basketball home for the Blue Demons at all, let alone in the quiet, pristine and very historic Prairie Avenue District, a neighborhood that contains 11 historic mansions from the late 19th to early 20th Century.

But built it will be.  And judging by the run on units at Vesta Lofts, a lot of people aim to get up close and personal.

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