Buddy sitcom New Girl takes place in Downtown LA's Arts District and follows a quirky gal (Jess) who breaks up with her live-in boyfriend and moves into a loft already shared by three male friends, a slob (Nick), a weirdo (Winston), and Schmidt. It makes a lot of sense that the gents needed a fourth: the show's first season aired in 2011, when the AD was already a hot neighborhood, so they probably had some pretty serious rent to deal with. The Arts District's popularity and rental prices have only grown since then, so what would it cost to rent that warehousey apartment? We asked an expert on Downtown lofts for some insight.
Obviously most TV apartments would be unaffordable for the people who live in them on television, but this one seems Friends-level ridiculous, even though it's shared by four people. First of all, the space is HUGE: a large loft with four bedrooms (everyone has their own until another roommate moves in) and one large, weird bathroom that looks like it's from a high school gym, complete with lockers by the door.
And the apartment is not as bare bones as some lofts in the AD. It's entirely built out with actual rooms that are fully enclosed; there are also wood floors and exposed brick throughout. The vast kitchen has open shelves and wood cabinets that don't immediately appear to be from IKEA. The spacious living room is lit up by large, industrial-style paned windows. That a fitness coach, a low- to mid-level marketing guy, a bartender, and a teacher (in the early seasons) could afford a place like this is barely believable, even if the rent is split four ways.
The exterior of the New Girl building is the Binford Building at Traction and Eighth, according to the ever-reliable Iamnotastalker website, but the interiors are a set on a soundstage. As such, the apartment that the friends share seems to be pure fantasy, a housing unicorn that likely does not exist at all.
David Hernandez of John Aaroe Group/LALOFTS.ME agrees that just finding a loft in the Arts District with four enclosed bedrooms is an impossible task. Here's Hernandez's estimate for the "make-believe" New Girl loft:
"[T]his unit would definitely be a penthouse unit around 2,600 square ft. Having large windows with tons of natural light, large living area and kitchen and four enclosed bedrooms are huge selling points. The only negative is the one bathroom. Even though the bathroom is large, most people in this price range want at least two. If I were to list this unit today, I would recommend a listing price of $4,500."
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