It’s quite frankly amazing how certain areas of the city have changed, even over just the last few years. To wit, we were waxing philosophical about 800 Callowhill St., where there were plans for 40 units to rise on this former warehouse/hip-hop club (named Suite 32/38), that has since been demolished. Sitting as a surface lot for a few years since that demolition, we were curious whether people wanted to live in this part of town, which was still awaiting its development re-awakening. Since then, about a million or so units have been proposed or are under construction close by, creating a much different scene today than even as recently as 2020. Looking back at the corner and checking out an aerial view, it’s easy to see why we were curious about the viability of this location.

800Call-0 Past
The SW corner of 8th & Callowhill just a few years back
800Call-0 Aerial
A more recent aerial of the site shows the property in question, surrounded by auto-centric uses

But since then, things have progressed steadily near the entrance to 676. A four-story, 40-unit building is nearly finished, with the majority of the facade wrapped up, save for the parking entrance along Callowhill. The design here comes from Parallel Architecture Studio, which has taken a contemporary approach to the project. Red metal panels add some interest to what is a rather utilitarian design, which from our view makes sense in this location. It didn’t appear folks were living here yet, but things sure appeared nearly move-in ready when we made our way around the site.

The view of the corner today, with the 40 units looking almost finished
Red panels break up the gray above the incomplete garage entry
A softer view, with plenty of mature trees surrounding the site
Another look at the units from across the driveway of the adjacent homes

Adding more pedestrians and eyes on the street here is definitely a good thing, as there isn’t a huge amount of foot traffic along this stretch. And while we aren’t smitten with the look here, we are hopeful that this may be a sign of things to come close by. Looking north across the street, two low-rise industrial buildings seem ripe for redevelopment. Just beyond that, the Willow Steam Generation Plant is still awaiting its shift to a 69-unit, mixed-use future. Glancing up Callowhill to the west, another large surface lot seems prime for a major glow-up in the future, too.

Looking north across Callowhill, the defunct steam plant framed by low-rise commercial buildings
An aerial drawing shows what the future may hold for the plant
A look at the huge empty property at 900-34 Callowhill St.

This area has gone from a place with little to no residential prospects to an area teeming with possibilities, and all within a few years. Interestingly, all of these nearby properties (save for the steam plant) are owned by the same entity, Wing Lee Realty Investments, so perhaps there’s a grand plan awaiting us as the area continues to change. Or perhaps these properties will stubbornly remain as is, creating an island of residential mass in this sea of asphalt and automobiles.