Conversion Therapy: Turning Old Factories Into Glam Homes

factory home conversion Blue Plate

By Colleen Kane

When factories are no longer factories, these sturdy structures of antique brick and beam can be converted for many new uses. With regularity they are turned into hotels, office space, shopping centers, restaurants, clubs, cultural and performance centers, and many additional innovative uses.

One of the most common reuses for old factory buildings is private residences, either single-family or as multiple family loft complexes. Many benefits make this use so appealing: Factories have space and light galore, they feature exposed brick and wood, or steel-beam rustic charm while still adapting quite well to modern decor. As generations of creative people can attest, revamped industrial spaces also work great as combined work and studio space. And finally, the sheer amount of raw space, when purchased in need of overhaul, can be a bargain for the enterprising purchaser.

The following sites where products like candy, garments, soap or mayonnaise were made are now places where lives are lived. While this trend has long been associated with New York, these stunning examples are from around the globe.

For more factory conversions not shown below, see CNBC's entire gallery.

Real Estate Reincarnation: Factories-Turned-Homes
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Conversion Therapy: Turning Old Factories Into Glam Homes

Location: Victoria, Australia
Price: N/A
Square footage: 8,611

This home in the Armadale suburb of Melbourne was created by refurbishing the former Golden Crust Bakery and joining it to a refurbished warehouse.

A new bridge connects the two brick structures, for a combined space that is nearly a mansion in size.

The project was carried out from 2006 to 2009 by the architecture firm Jackson Clements Burrows.

Australian Design Review reports that prior to this dramatic renovation, the structures were in a state of “serious deterioration and under a threat of demolition.”

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Price: N/A
Square footage: 2,690

This former factory in Utrecht is practically unchanged on the outside.

It was reconfigured for residential loft living and office space while retaining key original aspects like the wood beams and multi-paned windows. You'd never guess it from the outside, but the inside is a spacious living space rich in natural light.

This project was completed in 2006 by the Dutch architecture firm Zecc, whose work converting a water tower and a church into homes was previously featured in “Unique Converted Homes.”

This view from a hallway in the factory conversion shows how lofty and bright it is.

Location: San Antonio
Price: Lofts up to $650,000
Square footage: 1,000 to 4,800 per loft

From 1926 to 1937, this building was the Duerler Candy Factory, and from '37 to 2000, it was owned by Tobin Surveys, a company that surveyed for the oil and gas industry.

After that, under new ownership from artist and philanthropist Linda Pace, Poteet Architects transformed it into the Campstreet Residences.

It is divided into 20 lofts on the first four floors; its fifth floor is for Pace’s residence and the sixth is gallery space. 

Currently, two of those lofts are up for sale: The price for the available 2,300-square-foot loft is $650,000, and for the other, about 1,700 square feet, is $399,000. One more claim to fame in this building’s pedigree: Dixie Chick Emily Robison once lived there.

Location: Princeton, N.J.
Price: N/A
Square footage: 20,000

This circa-1894 terra cotta factory on the Delaware and Raritan Canal once created ornamentation for New York landmarks such as the Woolworth Building. 

The architectural firm Smith-Miller and Hawkinson gave it a facelift, and the old factory is now a residence and design studio.

The designers incorporated a timber mezzanine for another floor of usable room and used polycarbonate screens as dividers between work and living space.

Wide open spaces with a super modern kitchen marks the interior of this factory-turned-home.

Location: New Orleans
Price: $502-$1,550 per month for 1- or 2-bedroom loft
Square footage: 615-1,647 per loft

This landmarked Art Moderne building was the former factory of Blue Plate Fine Foods.

The company made mayonnaise and other condiments here from 1941 until the turn of the century, when production moved to Tennessee.

Beginning in 2009, the space underwent a $23 million renovation by Woodward Design Build, and it is now Blue Plate Artist Lofts.

The renovated space has 72 “mixed-income loft-style apartments designed with a leasing preference for artists.”

Pretty swanky gatherings could take place on the roof of the building, it appears.


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