Boy oh boy, has the area surrounding the Rail Park been undergoing a serious transformation. The newest project coming down the pike will likely appear at 425 N. 11th St., a property that would definitely benefit from an upgrade. Currently a one-story brick building that serves as a warehouse for both General Restaurant Supply and Reliable Fire & Mechanical, this property sits at the southern end of the triangular block created by Ridge Avenue, 11th Street, and Noble Street. While its western end is a typical rectangle, its eastern side runs at an angle along Ridge, creating an unusual condition for the existing building.

The building with its neighbors to the north on 11th Street
View from 11th & Noble looking east
View looking north across Noble
Current view looking northwest from Ridge & Noble, with a public health announcement
View from the building, looking southwest with some PECO equipment in the foreground
The Reading Railroad-owned parcel across Noble, bordering a future Rail Park phase

Potentially taking the place of this unremarkable brick building will be a seven-story mixed-use building with 18 two-bedroom units and ample commercial space across the lower levels. Parallel Architecture Studio handled the design for this modern, bay-heavy building, which has a bit of a shipping container vibe. Zero car parking is included, though there will be six bicycle spaces.

Rendering of the proposed building, looking east at the sunrise
Another rendering of the proposal

Per the minutes of a recent Callowhill Neighborhood Association community meeting, this project will need zoning relief to move forward. There were some outstanding questions from the community regarding design, trash disposal and the possible commercial tenant, so the developers were asked to return to the group for further review. A June 6th ZBA hearing date has been posted since this meeting took place, so we expect to get some updated information sooner than later. We are hoping that a version of what we seen above will move forward, since this would be quite an upgrade for this property that sits directly across Noble Street from a tree-covered lot owned by the successor company to Reading Railroad. Incidentally, this developer has a couple other projects in the area, including at 1018-20 Callowhill St., where 12-unit project recently went up.

1018-20 Callowhill St. just around the corner, from the same owner

With projects large and small dotting the neighborhood, this area feels like it has truly arrived as a development hotbed. While many projects are under construction or already in the works on this stretch, there are still some severely underutilized lots (we’re looking at you, Reading Railroad) that could see additional projects in the future. Based on the continued momentum we see, we’d bet that many more will be heading our way soon enough.