The Wonder Bread Lofts

The historic Wonder Bread factory in Italian Village was converted by developer to residential lofts.

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From the June 2014 edition

The historic Wonder Bread factory in Italian Village was purchased in 2010 by developer Kevin Lykens, whose initial plan was to convert the space into a multiuse arts center. When those plans fell through, he determined the old bread factory was perfect for a residential loft renovation.

The Wonder Bread building was constructed in phases, with the main building built in 1916 and the last addition completed in 1952.

The different eras of construction have allowed a variety of floor plans; in total, the property offers 48 different layouts.

One highlight of the lofts is how much history remains intact: From the brick floors to the ceiling pulleys, you’ll find elements of Wonder Bread everywhere.

“We repurposed a lot from the old factory. Dough troughs are used for planters in the courtyard; air handlers were maintained for aesthetic purposes,” Lykens says.

We spoke with resident Nicole DiTommaso about what it’s like to call an old bread factory home.

What inspired your move to the Wonder Bread lofts?

I was struggling to find urban space that was spacious. My unit is two floors, which you don’t find a lot. It’s a little less than 2,000 square feet, with two bedrooms, two and a half baths and an open layout. Watching them build the Wonder Bread has been so fascinating. When I was speaking with Kevin, he mentioned the larger units, and I instantly fell in love with it.

What do you most enjoy?

I’m really happy with the aesthetics. There’s a lot of detail work, which makes a huge difference overall. Not only that, the building is extremely secure as far as safety goes. And I’m excited about Cray [a restaurant set to open in the building this year]. I think my favorite space is my dining room. … I’ve mixed a white high-gloss acrylic table with pretty black antique velvet chairs beneath a ball-and-chain light that Kevin installed.

What’s the draw of urban living?

I like the feel of a tight-knit community and, in the Short North and in Downtown, everyone knows each other. You see familiar faces. It’s very eco-friendly. You can walk to just about everything. It’s like a being in the hub of a little major city.