(Generocity file photo)
New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) announced this afternoon that its executive director of 21 years, Sandy Salzman, is retiring.
Over the course of her tenure, Salzman has overseen more than 100 housing rehabilitations, the conversion of a vacant factory into the residential Coral Street Arts House for low-income artists and revitalized more than 90 percent of the 1,100 vacant parcels in Fishtown, according to the press release announcing her departure.
Nowadays, the community development corporation is setting its sights on the Somerset neighborhood north of Lehigh Avenue: NKCDC is currently rehabbing the former Orinoka Mills textile factory into a low- to moderate-income residential housing complex with commercial and office space. NKCDC headquarters will relocate there from Frankford Avenue when the project is completed sometime next year.
The move out of Fishtown is clearly in line within Salzman’s philosophy about the purpose of community-focused organizations such as her own. During a 2014 interview with the River Wards’ Star Community Newsweekly (and, full disclosure, this editor), she shared this gem:
“The job of a CDC is to put itself out of business; that’s what a good CDC does,” she said. “It comes into an area that needs renovation, it helps rebuild the neighborhood with the residents, and then you move on, or you go out of business.”
Salzman will leave NKCDC when a new executive director is named. We’ll be certainly be following up with her to find out what’s next.