Daily Independent reporter Rachel Adkins wrote a very interesting story for Monday's paper about a real estate project led by Alison Christie.

Christie is the developer of The Lofts at The Skytower on 13th Street where four luxury condominiums are currently being built on the 10th floor.

“I see the need for something like this in Ashland. Huntington and Charleston are doing a good job with having condos,” Christie said.

Work on the two-bedroom, two-bath condominiums began in March and should be completed in August. Each will have an open-floor concept and will feature an assortment of amenities including outside balconies overlooking the city, heated tile flooring in the bathrooms, a large walk-in master closet and plumbing for a wet bar.

This ia very intriguing project to us. It seems to demonstrate a significant trend in the winds of the local real estate market. Downtown condos and lofts generally are a product available in markets where a lot of growth is anticipated. Who is the most likely candidate for purchase of these properties? Often times it is the affluent or, often it is those who want to live close to where they work. To us it is a sign that the market continues to change for the better.

A longtime advocate of downtown housing is Paul Castle, the owner of Crescent Moon Properties. He told Adkins there is a significant appeal to downtown living saying it provides access to restaurants, shops and local festivals within walking distance.

“There's just always something to do in our town and it's wonderful, it's just wonderful living down here,” said Castle, who currently owns around six downtown lofts.

Castle said he sees downtown living continuing to grow in the future, noting he plans on renovating more lofts. He said he already has a waiting list of those wanting to live downtown.

We are not surprised at the demand. Ashland is changing. There is the new hotel and of course Braidy. It certainly makes sense the real estate market is changing, too.

All of this is good news for Ashland. The more diverse the housing stock, the more beneficial it is for buyers, sellers and the overall marketplace.