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Oriental Warehouse loft asks $1.49 million

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Why we love lofts yet again

The red brick facade of a loft building in South Beach with the words “Oriental Warehouse” painted in white over the arched entryway. Courtesy of Eric Turner

According to the plaque fixed on the formidable looking brick building at 650 Delancey, the structure dubbed the Oriental Warehouse is one of the oldest extant buildings in San Francisco, or at least the parts of it that date back to its conception:

Built in 1867, the Oriental Warehouse is all that remains in San Francisco of the Pacific Mail Steamship Co., a firm that was the first to establish regular mail, passenger and trade service between the U.S. and the Orient.

The building played a central role as the primary storage and distribution point for imports of tea, rice and silk from Asia and was designated a landmark by the city of San Francisco in 1977.

Since 1996 it’s been a 66-unit loft building, which Curbed SF has noted in the past is essentially the pinnacle of industrial conversion in housing stock. It’s why we love lofts, why we still love lofts, and why we’ll always love lofts, at least when a loft lifts itself into a lovable aesthetic.

The latest loft listing at Delancey Street comes by way of number 304, a one-bed, two-bath, nearly 1,400-square-foot space that shows off all the goods with an elaborate lattice of ceiling beams and exposed utility materials that’s simply a wonder to behold.

This is “one of a handful of units in the building which offers the original, exposed wood timber beams and extra high ceilings,” according to the ad by realtor Eric Turner.

A look at other recent listings in the building reveal much less illustrative aluminum ceilings in some decidedly less blessed homes.

All of those internal views come asking $1.49 million this go-round. The place last sold in 2011 for $845,000, which at the time was actually a slight loss from its previous receipts in 2004. But times, of course, have changed since then, and South Beach properties can now dare more lofty ambitions.