New Lofts Go Old-School

The historic Fifth Avenue School, built in the 19th-century, has been turned into high-end lofts on the edge of Oakland and downtown.

Photos courtesy of Fifth Avenue School Lofts

In a past life, this historic building was a bustling high school. Today, Fifth Avenue School, which currently houses 65 1,000- and 2,000-square-foot luxury lofts, is grade-A in posh living. Built in 1894, Fifth Avenue School Lofts’ original architectural features have been retained, adding to the charm for those who call the building home.

Impakt Development spent the last three years renovating the historic building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; its top three floors hadn’t been used since the ’70s. Contractors gutted and rebuilt walls to create dramatic units with up to three bedrooms on two levels. On the first floor, the 17-foot-wide main hallways are intact, and crumbling plaster arches were rebuilt authentically. Much of the craftsmanship was performed by local companies, including wood finishes by Allied Millwork and ceramic flooring by Red Clay Tile Works.

Individual units include contemporary kitchens and environmentally conscious additions like high-Seer heat pumps. “When you think about the space we had when we moved in, it’s amazing to see what we ended up with,” says Impakt Development president Casey Steiner.

Rental fees start below $1,000. For leasing information, contact Steiner Realty at 412/242-0273 or visit

Categories: HOME + Design