Chamber Lofts was the first multi-family project in Trenton built since 1988, with more than half of the apartments reserved for families who fall below the AMI (area median income).
The building was designed to afford tenants, from all walks of life, a home with upscale amenities like elevators, a private gym, on-site laundry, a bike & exercise facility and a conference room.
Built originally in 1901 for the American Cigar Factory, the building is representative of Trenton’s important history as a cigar manufacturing center in the US. Imported Cuban tobacco was dried, rolled and stored in the building, employing hundreds of workers through the Great Depression.
The renovations were designed with a light touch to highlight the industrial legacy and materials of the building. Masonry walls were exposed and all windows were replaced with true-divided-lite mahogany units, all of which are counterbalanced and fully operational. On the top floor, the sawtooth skylights are exposed, washing the interior units with sunlight. The original ash floors were painstakingly restored, defects and all.
One very big problem the former factory had? No front door. So we had to create a new entrance by taking down the old loading dock and using the existing service elevator as our entry point. We fixed it in place at the ground level, filled it with LED lights that glowed when people walked through, and fitted it with a corten steel and glass canopy.
Chamber Lofts is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, and historic preservation tax credits were used to finance the project.