On May 15, 2019, New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) celebrated the opening of our new offices at Orinoka Civic House at 2771 Ruth Street in Kensington, Philadelphia.
The event kicked off with young dancers from Philareyto performing traditional Puerto Rican bomba in the building’s courtyard. Felix Torres-Colon, Executive Director of NKCDC, and Aliyah Furman Stanger—Northeast Regional Director from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development—made brief remarks. Former NKCDC Director Sandy Salzman joined them for the ribbon cutting.
Orinoka Civic House is a $17.8 million overhaul of the former Orinoka Mills factory in Kensington. Once a safety hazard and an eyesore, the building now contains 51 affordable rental apartments, a community space and a commercial storefront, as well as our new offices. It opened to residents in 2017.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and District 7 Councilwoman, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez attended the opening to tour the building and met tenants.
Since 1985, NKCDC has supported residents and small businesses in Kensington, Fishtown and Port Richmond, Philadelphia. For the last 30 years we operated out of two rowhomes at 2515 Frankford Avenue. In our opening year, NKCDC housing counselors served more than 1,000 families.
In 1996, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), NKCDC became the region’s first organization to use vacant land management as a strategy for neighborhood revitalization. The City of Philadelphia subsequently adopted that model through the PHS LandCare Program.
In 2001, NKCDC became a chartered member of NeighborWorks America, a congressionally-funded network of more than 240 community development organizations across the country. In the past year, NKCDC has received new funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Kresge Foundation, and been able to hire 11 new staff as community health workers.
Our new street and mailing address is 2771 Ruth Street, Suite 1, Philadelphia, PA 19134. Our phone number remains 215-427-0350.