01 October 2012 ~ Comments Off

Charleston WV Loft Living Downtown

Loft living: coming to a downtown near you – State Journal



Live, Work and Play

A few dozen wide-eyed observers studied the layout of the 3,500 square feet listed for $799,999 in an eighth floor loft at 109 Capitol St. in downtown Charleston Sept. 18 as part of the sixth annual Loft Walk, this time billed as part of an “Urban Living Showcase.”

Organizers with the Charleston Area Alliance and its committee for young professionals, Generation Charleston, billed the three-day event as a way to feature the ways Charleston can be used for living, working and playing.

“Urban Living showcases what is great about living in Charleston,” Eric Morris, co-captain of Generation Charleston’s Professional and Economic Development Team, said in a news release. “We are a small community but with huge talent and potential. This event highlights all of our strengths and has a little something for everyone.”

While the price of loft living in Charleston is still high for most young buyers, at the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Director Andrea Ball said living in downtown Martinsburg can be a bargain.

Ball said Martinsburg has a lot of historic homes, not just apartments, and the downtown area is within walking distance of shops, restaurants and maybe most importantly, the train to Washington, D.C.

“Like many West Virginia towns, there is not new construction, so if you don’t love historic properties, it’s probably not going to be your cup of tea,” she said.

Ball also said just about any downtown area has turnoffs that come with inner-city problems such as crime and homelessness.

Ball said the West Virginia Division of Culture and History offers programs to help restore historic properties, and in Martinsburg, the high ceilings and small closets are an affordable, quaint option compared to living in the District of Columbia.

But because of its panhandle location filled with a population of commuters, Ball said Martinsburg struggles to reach those residents to keep them local.

“We make some initiatives to reach out specifically to those people — advertising in the train station, trying to reach out to those people on the Washington, D.C., radio market rather than just here locally,” Ball said. “They may live here but they don’t reside here.”

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