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Mapping Callowhill’s development boom

Apartments, retail, and parks are on the way

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All eyes seem to be on Callowhill these days. Developers are buying properties in this neighborhood just north of Center City left and right, getting in while they can before the highly-anticipated Rail Park opens in early 2018.

It’s a big change for the long-blighted neighborhood that served as inspiration for former resident David Lynch’s cult classic Eraserhead. (That’s why the area is still called “Eraserhood” by locals. It’s also referred to by developers as the Spring Arts District.)

But Callowhill is changing before our eyes. Rents—both residential and commercial—are still affordable here compared to the rest of Greater Center City, and there’s still plenty of property available for potential development or adaptive reuse. That all may change once the Rail Park opens. Here, we present major projects currently in the works (and at various development stages).

We should note that because Philly doesn’t have strictly defined neighborhood boundaries, for this map’s purposes, Callowhill is roughly defined as the area north of Vine Street, south of Spring Garden, east of Broad Street, and west of 7th Street.

Know of another Callowhill project that should be on this list? Send us a tip!

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Hanover North Broad

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This mid-rise mixed-use development sandwiches North Broad, with one of the two apartment buildings located right on the edge of Callowhill. Pitched as a gateway to North Broad, the project is finishing up and making last-minute touches, with tenants already moved into the 339 apartments. Construction on the ground-floor retail is still underway.

Photo by Melissa Romero

The Inquirer Building

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Located just on the opposite side of Callowhill in Spring Garden is the former headquarters of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News, which was sold in 2011 to developer Bart Blatstein. He originally planned to turn it into a casino, but Blatstein recently inked a deal with the City of Philadelphia instead. The stark white building will now be the future home of the Philadelphia police and the city’s health services.

via Flickr/Connery

401 N Broad St

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Amerimar Enterprises and Abrams Capital have been fixing up this massive carrier hotel after acquiring the 1.3 million-square-foot building in 2014. The hulking Art Deco building is now home to a 23,000-square-foot “Meet Me Room” facility where tenants can connect with their networks.

Photo by Melissa Romero

The Heid Building

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After sitting vacant for 11 years, this old hat-making factory is on track to become a high-end, luxury apartment building with 96 residential units, rooftop amenities, and a restaurant on the ground floor. Developer PRDC Properties is behind the adaptive reuse project, which is expected to break ground in November and take 15 months to completion.

Rendering by Atrium Design Group

The Rail Park

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This is the big park project that has this neighborhood abuzz. The Rail Park, whose first phase construction is well underway, will be a three-mile park running along the abandoned Reading Viaduct rail line. The first phase is set to open in early 2018 and will stretch a quarter mile from Broad to Callowhill Street.

1001 Vine St

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After years of questioning, “Will it?” or “Won’t it?”, work has begun on the 23-story Eastern Tower Community Center. The residential tower is being led by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC)—it’s located right over the Chinatown-Callowhill border—and will bring 150 apartments and 44,200-square-feet of commercial and retail space, including a 17,000-square-foot community center, to the corner of 10th and Vine.

448 N 10th Street

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This is just one of a handful of properties owned by local developer Arts+Crafts Holdings in the neighborhood. The seven-story, 50,000-square-foot building dates back to the early 1900s when it served as the headquarters for Haverford Cycle Company. Today, work is underway to turn it into creative workspaces. Made Institute, a fashion and design school, is the first tenants to set up shop in the old warehouse.

Photo by Melissa Romero

900-34 Callowhill Street

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This mixed-use project has been tinkered with for years now, and as of right now its construction start date is TBD, according to Center City District’s most recent development report. What is known is that developer Wing Lee Realty Investments is behind the 173,913-square-foot project, which will bring 416 residential units and 12 commercial spaces to the four-building site.

Rendering by T.C. Lei & Associates

915 Spring Garden St

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This warehouse had a long history as a main stopping point along the Reading Railroad. Originally, it served as office space and overnight accommodations for railroad employees. In later years, it was an artist's live-work community. Arts+Crafts Holdings is the beginning stages of its plan to turn the warehouse into a mixed-use space with food and beverage on the ground floor and artists studios and creative workplaces on the upper floors.

Photo by Melissa Romero

Willow Street Steam Plant

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The hulking Willow Generation Steam Plant at N. 9th and Willow streets does not go unnoticed. It was built 1927 as part of the Philadelphia Electric Company, but has sat vacant for nearly three decades. Plans are in the works to restore the asbestos-ridden property, no small undertaking that could cost at least $1 million.

An abandoned steam plant in Philadelphia. The exterior is mostly red brick. The facade is decayed. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Electric Factory

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Most folks know this warehouse as the home of the music venue the Electric Factory. But when it was originally built in 1916, the seven-story structure served as the switchgear plant for General Electric. It’s now under new ownership—Arts+Crafts Holdings recently bought the property for $20 million—but there are no immediate new plans for the building.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Hanover North Broad

Photo by Melissa Romero

This mid-rise mixed-use development sandwiches North Broad, with one of the two apartment buildings located right on the edge of Callowhill. Pitched as a gateway to North Broad, the project is finishing up and making last-minute touches, with tenants already moved into the 339 apartments. Construction on the ground-floor retail is still underway.

Photo by Melissa Romero

The Inquirer Building

via Flickr/Connery

Located just on the opposite side of Callowhill in Spring Garden is the former headquarters of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News, which was sold in 2011 to developer Bart Blatstein. He originally planned to turn it into a casino, but Blatstein recently inked a deal with the City of Philadelphia instead. The stark white building will now be the future home of the Philadelphia police and the city’s health services.

via Flickr/Connery

401 N Broad St

Photo by Melissa Romero

Amerimar Enterprises and Abrams Capital have been fixing up this massive carrier hotel after acquiring the 1.3 million-square-foot building in 2014. The hulking Art Deco building is now home to a 23,000-square-foot “Meet Me Room” facility where tenants can connect with their networks.

Photo by Melissa Romero

The Heid Building

Rendering by Atrium Design Group

After sitting vacant for 11 years, this old hat-making factory is on track to become a high-end, luxury apartment building with 96 residential units, rooftop amenities, and a restaurant on the ground floor. Developer PRDC Properties is behind the adaptive reuse project, which is expected to break ground in November and take 15 months to completion.

Rendering by Atrium Design Group

The Rail Park

This is the big park project that has this neighborhood abuzz. The Rail Park, whose first phase construction is well underway, will be a three-mile park running along the abandoned Reading Viaduct rail line. The first phase is set to open in early 2018 and will stretch a quarter mile from Broad to Callowhill Street.

1001 Vine St

After years of questioning, “Will it?” or “Won’t it?”, work has begun on the 23-story Eastern Tower Community Center. The residential tower is being led by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC)—it’s located right over the Chinatown-Callowhill border—and will bring 150 apartments and 44,200-square-feet of commercial and retail space, including a 17,000-square-foot community center, to the corner of 10th and Vine.

448 N 10th Street

Photo by Melissa Romero

This is just one of a handful of properties owned by local developer Arts+Crafts Holdings in the neighborhood. The seven-story, 50,000-square-foot building dates back to the early 1900s when it served as the headquarters for Haverford Cycle Company. Today, work is underway to turn it into creative workspaces. Made Institute, a fashion and design school, is the first tenants to set up shop in the old warehouse.

Photo by Melissa Romero

900-34 Callowhill Street

Rendering by T.C. Lei & Associates

This mixed-use project has been tinkered with for years now, and as of right now its construction start date is TBD, according to Center City District’s most recent development report. What is known is that developer Wing Lee Realty Investments is behind the 173,913-square-foot project, which will bring 416 residential units and 12 commercial spaces to the four-building site.

Rendering by T.C. Lei & Associates

915 Spring Garden St

Photo by Melissa Romero

This warehouse had a long history as a main stopping point along the Reading Railroad. Originally, it served as office space and overnight accommodations for railroad employees. In later years, it was an artist's live-work community. Arts+Crafts Holdings is the beginning stages of its plan to turn the warehouse into a mixed-use space with food and beverage on the ground floor and artists studios and creative workplaces on the upper floors.

Photo by Melissa Romero

Willow Street Steam Plant

An abandoned steam plant in Philadelphia. The exterior is mostly red brick. The facade is decayed. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The hulking Willow Generation Steam Plant at N. 9th and Willow streets does not go unnoticed. It was built 1927 as part of the Philadelphia Electric Company, but has sat vacant for nearly three decades. Plans are in the works to restore the asbestos-ridden property, no small undertaking that could cost at least $1 million.

An abandoned steam plant in Philadelphia. The exterior is mostly red brick. The facade is decayed. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Electric Factory

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Most folks know this warehouse as the home of the music venue the Electric Factory. But when it was originally built in 1916, the seven-story structure served as the switchgear plant for General Electric. It’s now under new ownership—Arts+Crafts Holdings recently bought the property for $20 million—but there are no immediate new plans for the building.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons