The Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development has agreed to transfer the blighted Orinoka Mills factory site in Kensington to a nonprofit developer for conversion into mixed-income housing with office and retail space.

The PAID board voted last week to convey the city-owned property, on East Somerset Street near the El station, to the New Kensington Community Development Corp., according to John Grady, president of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., which manages the authority.

The $17.8 million Orinoka Civic House project is to include 51 apartments, about 700 square feet of retail, and 7,000 square feet of offices for the community-development group.

Crews began preparing the site for work on the project, designed by Jibe Design of Philadelphia, in October. The city will receive "nominal consideration" for the property, according to a PAID board agenda.

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