A former Harrowgate textile mill gets new life as an apartment building

Collins Lofts is the third redevelopment Odin Properties has completed in the North Philly neighborhood.

big brick building

The former North Philadelphia textile mill will be redeveloped into an apartment building. (Aaron Moselle)

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A historic textile mill in North Philadelphia is now home to 86 apartments with “value-based” rents.

Collins Lofts spans a pair of hulking brick buildings near Frankford Avenue in Harrowgate, a low-income neighborhood close to Kensington with a rich industrial past.

The redevelopment has studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 350 square feet to just over 1,000 square feet.

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Rents run from about $1,000 to just north of $1,800 per month — price points that generally sit below citywide averages. The units are not deed restricted affordable housing.

Ribbon cutting
RIbbon cutting ceremony for the Collins Lofts redevelopment project. (Aaron Moselle/WHYY)

“This creates an opportunity for the residents of Harrowgate to stay in this community,” said Philip Balderston, founder and CEO of Odin Properties, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.

The project reimagines Tioga Mills, one of the city’s largest textile manufacturers during the turn of the 20th century. The mill, historically designated by the city in May 2022, was known for producing high-quality cotton for hosiery. It was vacant for more than 50 years before Odin bought the property in 2020.

The units at Collins Lofts are modern, but pay homage to the mill. Apartments have exposed brick and feature original wood beams, joists and flooring.

“It’s always been important to us, wherever we possibly can, to reuse these existing buildings,” said Balderston. “It adds something really special both in activating the community and providing apartments that are a little more interesting in many cases than some of the ground-up units that you see.”

Balderston would not disclose the price tag for Collins Lofts.

Odin Properties has now completed three adaptive reuse projects in Harrowgate. Not far from Collins Lofts sits East Tioga Lofts and Westmoreland Lofts. Combined, the developments represent 182 units of housing.

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“Building by building, we’re trying to make the neighborhood better,” said Balderston.

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