Callowhill/Loft District

Callowhill/Loft DistrictCoined the “loft district” by developers and real estate hipsters, Callowhill, as it is known to locals, is as close as one can get to living a Tribeca-like loft lifestyle in Philadelphia. That reality has attracted many newcomers to settle here in recent years. Prior to its recent resurgence, this neighborhood that straddles Callowhill Street between Vine Street and Spring Garden Street and from 8th Street to BroadStreet was a depressed conglomeration of vacant warehouses and former industrial buildings. The worsening condition of the neighborhood reached its nadir following the completion of the Vine Street Expressway in 1991 which cut off Callowhill from Chinatown and seemed to increase dramatically its perceived proximity to just about anywhere. The recent conversion of many larger buildings to loft-style apartments and condominiums has breathed a breath of fresh air into the neighborhood. Neophytes have been attracted by the raw spaces available in some of these buildings and their accompanying industrial features of exposed ductwork, pipes and masonry. Others looking for more urbane spaces with loft-like features have also found satisfaction here with numerous buildings offering large spaces outfitted with refined finishes. While certain conveniences such as nearby service and retail establishments are lacking, the neighborhood’s perceived proximity to Chinatown, Spring Garden and other neighborhoods has increased in tandem with the neighborhood. Ongoing development of former industrial buildings points to further progress for the gritty and increasingly chic Callowhillenclave.