Cafritz Interest-Owned E-Lofts Opening Next Month In Alexandria
When Rob Seldin opens his first e-lofts location next month in Alexandria (above), he hopes it will spark a change in the way people think about commercial real estate assets.
E-lofts, owned by Conrad Cafritz's Cafritz Interests subsidiary Novus Residences, plans to buy vacant office buildings in the DC Metro area and rent out individual units as 650 to 1,200 SF lofts.
The lofts are zoned for both commercial and residential use. Rob says they are intended to be used as an office, an apartment, or both at the same time, like the unit above.
Users rent the highly amenitized units for 12 months at a time. Rob says this hybrid concept will be attractive for young entrepreneurs.
"The single biggest challenge to risk-taking is price, and if you have to rent a place to live and a place to work just to start a business, you're doubling your costs," Rob tells Bisnow. "If you can do all in one place, it greatly facilitates your ability to take risks."
The first location is opening at 4501 Ford Ave in Alexandria next month and Rob (pictured with his wife, Amy) says he has five more locations planned in the DC suburbs of Fairfax County and Montgomery County.
The dual-use concept will be beneficial for consumers, Rob says, as well as for cities and property owners looking to fill vacant buildings. It's not unlike WeWork adapted an empty office building in Crystal City with the area's first WeLive under the same roof as Arlington's first WeWork, but those concepts are separated by floor. E-lofts offers the chance to combine the uses in each unit.
"By having the flexibility to alter its use at will, the owner and the jurisdiction are never hostage to one specific marketplace falling out of favor or becoming oversupplied," Rob says. "It creates additional stability in the marketplace."