March 22, 2023
The Rail Park along the Reading Viaduct in Callowhill was conceived as an important step toward turning an abandoned train line into an inviting space that connects multiple Philly neighborhoods.
When the first phase of the park opened in 2018, it upped the appeal for more residential development to be built in Callowhill. A new proposal aims to take advantage of that promise, potentially bringing 149 units to a parking lot that formerly was expected to become a self-storage facility.
Volumetric Building Cos. is looking to construct a seven-story, multifamily project at 1314 Spring Garden St. — a short distance from the Rail Park and the Spring Garden subway station.
The proposed building would include 1,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space and studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors. An underground parking lot would have space for 28 cars and 60 bicycles. The building also would have a fitness center on the ground floor, an outdoor podium at the rear of the second floor and a green rooftop with a deck.
VBC is known for using modular designs that the company says speeds up construction and offers a more sustainable process. The company has a number of projects either completed or underway in Philly, including the nearby LVL North apartments at 510 N. Broad St. and the SOLO apartments at 4233 Chestnut St. in University City.
The proposal on Spring Garden Street will go to the Civic Design Review board for recommendations April 4.
Around the time the Rail Park's first phase was completed, the lot appeared to be in line for an ExtraSpace Storage building with ground floor retail space.
The full vision for the Rail Park is to create a three-mile greenway that stretches from Northern Liberties to Fairmount Park. Feasibility studies are ongoing for future phases of the long-term project.