Former Philly hat factory to become apartments

Ben Franklin High students will be able to learn building trades while working with construction crews on redevelopment of a former hat factory in Center City. (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

Ben Franklin High students will be able to learn building trades while working with construction crews on redevelopment of a former hat factory in Center City. (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

A Philadelphia factory that once manufactured hats will be getting a new lease on life, and, in the process, help some area high school students learn about the building trades.

The Heid company was once the biggest manufacturer of hats and caps in the city. Within two years, the Heid Building at 13th and Callowhill will be transformed into about 100 New York-style apartments ranging from 500 square feet to 1,200 square feet, said John Thomas of PRDC Properties.

“We’re going to have a dog park on the roof for them to enjoy the outdoor space.  It’s hard to have a firepit in the city of Philadelphia, but in this property there will be a firepit overlooking Center City,” Thomas said. “There’s going to be hammocks, swings, all in outdoor space where you can come together as a group.”

Students from Ben Franklin High School will work with construction crews to learn the trades, said developer David Pearlman.

“This program is going to allow these students to find their path through training,” he said.

As for the rents, those will resemble New York as well; apartment rents will range from $1,100 to $2,600 a month.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.