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Lofts are hot property

Urban trend spreads into single-family home design

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LAS VEGAS–Lofts aren't just for starving artists or savvy Wall Street businessmen living in SoHo anymore. In fact, many builders are shifting their designs in the loft-style direction because they believe the emergence of the Gen X buyer is where the new-home market is heading. The mainstreaming of lofts was evident here this week at the International Builders Show, where this year's "New American Home" is a single-family loft. The loft influence also showed up in Genesis' modular home on display at the tradeshow. That home featured a "great room," which is one large living, dining and entertaining space in place of a traditional living room. Lofts are truly hot, according to Blaine Kirchert, a developer from Lilydale, Minn. He was one of several builders and developers who said as much. Many of them came to the show specifically to find out about the designs. What makes a loft a loft depends somewhat on the buyer's point of view. A traditional loft usually consists of a lar...