CAMBRIDGELofts have gone from shabby chic to just chic. Twenty years ago, they were the exclusive territory of urban pioneers and starving artists looking for unique and cheap places to live and work. Today, you are as likely to find loft living in new buildings with luxury amenities as you are in renovated mills with cranky freight elevators.
Loft 23, a new building here with a glass, steel, and artful oxidized green copper facade, is itself a work of art. And the apartments have all of the appealing elements of lofts with none of the grit. The ceilings are 12 to 14 feet high and sheathed in metal with shiny exposed pipes that look like well-placed sculpture. The floors are polished concrete. In between is acoustical insulation, so all is quiet.
The open floor plans are divided and defined by the sleek Euro-style kitchens, all with burgundy cabinetry, black granite countertops, intricate stainless-steel mosaic backsplashes, and stainless-steel appliances. Each unit has a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. First-floor units are even pet friendly.
A designer-decorated model apartment has a contemporary flair sure to inspire those who might be intimidated by the open space concept. After all, the bedroom has no door. Units run from a 742-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath at $2,201 per month, to a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,184-square-foot unit at $3,235.
As for location, these units, part of the University Park complex, are well placed indeed. Just off Massachusetts Avenue near Cambridge's Central Square, 23 Sydney St. is within walking distance of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Charles River, the Red Line, and enough restaurants so a tenant might never have to dirty up that state-of-the-art kitchen.