We were traveling across town the other day and spied a sign posted to an old warehouse building at the southwest corner of 10th & Callowhill which indicated that change is coming soon. If you’ve noticed the two-tone building at this corner before, you probably haven’t thought twice about it, due to its blah appearance. The location actually has a pretty interesting history according to Hidden City, having been the site of a circus around the time of the Civil War before transitioning to a theatre for several decades after. For most of the 20th century, the building was an ice house, then it was used for steel drum storage, and in recent decades it was a food distribution warehouse. The passing of time and the effects of a fire from the 1970s have left the building in its current condition, and it may or may not retain any original exterior details. We honestly aren’t sure.
If you look carefully at the first image above, you may notice a sign that indicates that a tenant has signed on to take over this building. That tenant, Cliffs Climbing + Fitness, currently operates four rock gym locations in the New York area, and this 39K sqft space would represent their first foray into the Philadelphia market. If this location is anything like their other spots, the gym will include multiple rock walls, bouldering, and fitness classes. If you’re into this kind of thing, Cliffs at Callowhill sounds like it will check a lot of boxes.
Even a few years ago, this would have seemed like an odd location for this kind of business. But the Callowhill neighborhood is changing dramatically due to a couple of factors. First and most obviously, the Rail Park opened over the summer, turning a blighted viaduct into the tourist attraction that this neighborhood previously lacked. With the Rail Park now open and set to expand in the coming years, Callowhill is on everybody’s radar as never before. The other item to keep in mind is the buying spree from developers in this area, notably Arts + Crafts Holdings. This developer in particular is renovating old industrial buildings and converting them into residential and office uses, bringing lots of new people into the area. Surely, a number of customers at the rock gym will be people that work in the area, a population that has grown tremendously in just the last few years. A couple hundred residents at the nearby Goldtex Building and new neighbors to come at the Eastern Tower just a block away will surely help as well.
Wherever the clients come from, Cliffs at Callowhill is set to open its doors this spring. One thing is certain, you won’t be seeing us there, as we are quite lacking in the upper body strength department.