Six months ago, the old Goldtex textile factory on 12th Street between Vine and Callowhill did not look like somewhere you’d pay to live. Broken windows and filthy mattresses where squatters slept definitely didn’t say “home.” But then Mike Pestronk of Post Brothers Apartments stepped in.
Pestronk and his brother, Matt, bought and sealed up the abandoned property, put up scaffolding, and got to work knocking out what was left of the windows. “It was in rough shape, and literally every window was broken. When there was a strong wind, it rained glass onto the street below,” Pestronk says.
In about 18 months, when the transformation is complete, the brothers hope to have 160 modern apartments in a LEED-certified building with parking and a rooftop pool, garden and “dog socializing area.”
They’re also wrapping a brand-new skin around the building, both for aesthetics and for energy efficiency.
The location, near the Reading Viaduct in the newly designated Callowhill Industrial Historic District, is gritty despite the fancy title. The developer pictures the apartments attracting young professionals comfortable living in Center City’s peripheral neighborhoods.
“It is an established neighborhood, so we’re not total pioneers here. There are lots of nice apartments and condos — even though it is an ugly area,” he says. “But it’s a trade off. You get better value and better space than you would in Center City.”
What it costs
Since the building is still a year and a half out from occupancy, Pestronk is hesitant to give a rent range. He does compare the apartments to those at 777 South Broad and Lofts 640 (at 640 North Broad), and says rents will likely be similar. Rents at Lofts 640 start from $1,200 a month for a one-bedroom.
“It’s upscale, and the apartments will be really nice, but it’s not going to be a frou-frou, hoity-toity building,” Pestronk says.