The Callowhill neighborhood is a formerly industrial zone just north of Chinatown in Center City. It used to be an entirely industrial area built around the former Reading Railroad Viaduct that used to feed into the former Reading Terminal. In recent years, a part of the former Reading Viaduct was renovated into the Rail Park, a quarter mile long stretch of a curvilinear park, which has a trail, benches, and landscaping. Even before the Rail Park opened recently, some older industrial buildings have been renovated into apartments and condominiums. The Callowhill neighborhood is starting to see new construction on vacant lots and parking lots, as well. One large parking lot that is about to be replaced with new development is at the corner of 12th and Callowhill Streets, next to the Rail Park. This new development will be a co-living apartment building, built by Quarters by Medici. Co-living is a new trend in apartment living, in which tenants share kitchens with tenants of other apartments. New co-living apartment buildings are being built in Northern Liberties and Kensington. The one next to the Rail Park will be called, “Quarters at 1201 Callowhill” and is being designed by JKRP Architects.
Quarters at 1201 Callowhill will have 65 rental units. Each unit will have three or four beds, for a total of 239 beds. There will be a large retail space of about 4,000 square feet at the corner of 12th and Callowhill. An amenities space will be located on the ground floor on Callowhill Street. There will be 41 underground parking spaces and many bicycle parking spaces. There will be bike racks on Callowhill Street. The exterior will have dark brick on the ground level, and light and dark metal panels, with fins, on the rest of the floors. The facade will be lit up at night and will be partially angled on Callowhill Street. There will be landscaping around the back wing of the building. A large roof deck will be on top of the building, with stunning views of the Center City skyline.
The Callowhill neighborhood has a lot of potential in coming years. It has close proximity to much of what Center City has to offer, including shopping on Market East, Chinatown, the Parkway museums, access to transportation, and major office buildings. The Rail Park provides the neighborhood with a great new public space and redevelopment is occurring rapidly along North Broad Street. Callowhill still has vacant sites and parking lots that would be prime sites for new development. Recently, a new high-rise has been built at 10th and Vine Streets and the Heid Building, on 13th Street, is being renovated into apartments. Callowhill has a bright future and Quarters at 1201 Callowhill is a big part of that, bringing many new young residents and a large new retail space, all in the middle of the neighborhood and next to the Rail Park.