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Look in the Mirror and Ask Yourself: Am I a Loft?

The Post's Home section today carries a big Max Gross story about lofts?why people love 'em, when was the last time an artist actually lived in one (we're guessing around 1971), and most importantly, what qualifies as one? The story skirts around calling outright bullshit on the 90% of real estate listings that brokers refer to as "lofts" that just aren't so, but Gross does provide a helpful definition:

The reason brokers and developers get away with this is because no two agree on exactly what constitutes a loft. Part of the definition has to do with the ceiling heights; the standard N.Y.C. height is 81/2 feet, and anything above is often labeled a loft (or "loft-like"). Another part has to do with whether the unit has an open layout. But to be a true loft, experts say, the space needs to be in an industrial building and have a continuous floor plan that's not interrupted with things like, well, walls and rooms.

Simple enough. So, Elliman's eternally on-the-market Union Square Lofts & Flats (above): converted cast-iron building, 17-foot ceilings, random stripper poles in the great room. Loft! Andre Balazs's 40 Mercer: Built out of gray industrial steel to emulate original lofts. Uh ... loft-like?
· Get Up [NYPost]
· CurbedWire: 40 Mercer's Glorious Garden Revealed [Curbed]