Kensington Corridor Trust

The Kensington Corridor Trust (KCT) is in the northern part of Philadelphia, and its mission is “to help the Kensington community reclaim control over a once thriving commercial corridor by reactivating real estate, fostering local entrepreneurship and reinvesting capital in the neighborhood.” KCT focuses on 1.4 miles of the North Philly neighborhood’s commercial corridor. This model works by strategically acquiring assets, both vacant land and commercial mixed-use buildings, and putting them into a trust for the neighborhood, so that local ownership, local decision-making power, and affordability are all preserved. 

KCT was co-developed in in 2019 by four organizations: a CDC, the city’s public-private partnership for economic development, a mission-oriented private developer, and a small business incubator (Impact Services, PIDC, Shift Capital, and IF Lab).  We spoke with Adriana Abizadeh, who is the Executive Director of the Kensington Corridor Trust, to learn more about the origins and operations of this neighborhood trust model in action.

What is the Kensington Corridor Trust? What is its purpose?
How would you describe the model of the Kensington Corridor Trust? What other models is it similar to?
Where is the Kensington neighborhood? Who lives there? What is its history?
What economic forces are at play that affect the Kensington neighborhood? Is gentrification a concern?
Who are the founding stakeholders of the Kensington Corridor Trust?
What is the Kensington Corridor Trust’s acquisition strategy?
How is Kensington Corridor Trust’s debt structured?
What does the Kensington Corridor Trust plan to do with capital inflows?
How is the Kensington Corridor Trust set up? How is it governed?
How was the Kensington neighborhood selected for the neighborhood trust model?

Key information about this model

  Kensington Corridor Trust


  • Institutional partnerships: Impact Services (local CDC), PIDC (Philadelphia’s public-private partnership for economic development), Shift Capital (mission-oriented private developer), IF Lab (small business incubator)


  • Acquire and develop properties along the Kensington Corridor (3 blocks)
  • Serve community as dictated by the trust


  • 2 legal entities: a) perpetual purpose trust and b) traditional 501c3 non-profit organization


  • 3-year grant from local foundation to support early planning
  • Patient, low interest capital (0-2%) with long runways (loans terms are between 10-15 years with 30 years amortization)


  • c3 board has transitioned to Kensington residents, small biz owners, and health center
  • 30% of BoD must be small business owners, 30% must be current or former residents
  • c3 will develop and manage properties, trust will own them and guide acquisition and deployment
  • Community is still developing trust and governance model; trust will review c3 annually

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