The investment will help New Kensington CDC to create affordable, neighborhood-oriented commercial and residential units that will revitalize the business corridor.
Philadelphia, PA, December 3, 2019 – State Senator Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) delivered a $150,000 Pennsylvania grant today to the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) to help the non-profit organization redevelop two formerly vacant storefronts at 2513-15 Frankford Ave. The adjoining properties will be converted into affordable, neighborhood-oriented commercial and residential space that will revitalize the surrounding business corridor.
The grant was awarded through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Local Share Account program, a fund that distributes a portion of slot machine license fees paid by casinos operating within the City of Philadelphia. Senator Tartaglione visited New Kensington’s new Ruth Street offices to present the funding to CEO Felix Torres-Colon and other New Kensington officials.
“For more than 30 years, New Kensington CDC has done a tremendous job facilitating and overseeing the revitalization of the Frankford Avenue corridor. This is an area that fell on hard times due to the decline of local manufacturing, but it is now growing once again thanks to their efforts,” Senator Tartaglione said. “This state funding will assist the local renaissance by bringing affordable retail and residential space to the avenue, along with jobs and commerce.”
“NKCDC is very excited to receive this Local Share grant from Pennsylvania DCED,” Torres-Colon said. “When we moved our offices to Orinoka Civic House on Somerset Street this year, we saw an opportunity to make another investment in our old office space on Frankford Avenue. In their neighborhood plan, East Kensington residents asked for development that promotes local businesses and maintains affordability. We look forward to creating commercial space and rental apartments that will add to the lively, walkable neighborhood along Frankford Avenue.”
NKCDC acquired the Frankford Avenue properties from the City of Philadelphia in the late 1980s. They were vacant at the time. The non-profit organization established its offices there as it grew to employ 25 people. Earlier this year, NKCDC completed its conversion of a former mill building at Ruth and Somerset streets into Orinoka Civic House. The CDC offices are now located there along with 51 affordable apartment units.
Re-establishing the Frankford Avenue properties as mixed-use, commercial/residential buildings will restore their original, intended use and will be consistent with the city’s Philadelphia2035 Comprehensive Plan for the River Wards. The project will make the properties fully ADA compliant, provide much-needed affordable housing, and expand neighborhood commerce while creating new jobs.
NKCDC, which manages the corridor and maintains it under contract with the city, will market the new commercial properties to potential tenants and support the new businesses as they grow with the community. For information about NKCDC, visit nkcdc.org.Frankford Avenue Storefronts, Senator Christine Tartaglione, Grants
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact William Kenny at 215-533-0440 or William.Kenny@pasenate.com.