Developers of proposed Philadelphia 76ers arena submits updated proposal

Developers of proposed Philadelphia 76ers arena submits updated proposal
via 76 Place
Michelle De Pacina
22 days ago
Developers of the proposed Philadelphia 76ers arena have submitted an updated proposal aiming to address community concerns.
Key points:
  • The developers are modifying plans for traffic flow and enhancing attractions along East Market Street when games are not being played.
  • Despite these adjustments, the Save Chinatown Coalition remains opposed, citing persistent concerns about the project’s location. The coalition is a group of more than 245 organizations, small businesses and faith congregations that are dedicated to the continued vitality of Philadelphia neighborhoods including historic Chinatown.
Catch up:
  • In July 2022, development company 76 Devcorp, which is headed by real estate developer David Adelman, proposed a plan to build the new 76ers arena at 10th and Market Streets near Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Developers are aiming for the arena’s construction to begin in 2028 and its opening in 2031 when the basketball team’s lease at the Wells Fargo Center expires.
  • The proposal was immediately met with fierce criticism from the members of Chinatown, who are worried it would worsen limited parking, traffic congestion, gentrification, displacement and the loss of Chinese culture in the area.
The details:
  • Initially, the developers aimed to close traffic on 10th and 11th streets during games but have revised the plan to close only one lane for one hour after games. They will also provide designated ride-share zones and add shopping and dining options on the ground floor in order to increase year-round foot traffic.
  • Developers estimate that 75% of visitors will leave within 15 minutes after games. They anticipate 40% of attendees will arrive by car, 10% by ride-share, 40% by public transit and 10% on foot, based on data from similar arenas. 
  • In a statement, Adelman said: “We have listened intently throughout the community engagement process and while we have already made many updates in response to community feedback, we are grateful for more opportunities to hear from Philadelphians about how further strengthen this project. We are eager to work together towards solutions for traffic concerns, showcase our vision for a street-level promenade that will activate Market Street, and show how we are addressing issues that were raised in community meetings.”
The opposition: 
  • The Save Chinatown Coalition continued to express their opposition, noting that the new plan still fails to address the “most persistent public feedback”: an overwhelming rejection of a Center City arena. The coalition criticizes the project’s assumptions and impacts on infrastructure.
  • Vivian Chang, executive director of Asian Americans United, which is part of the coalition, said in a press release: “Not a single person spoke favorably of this project in the last six hour meeting, and developers still fail to address the most persistent public feedback on 76 Place: it’s in the wrong location. With 76 Place developers’ baseless assumptions about fans’ change in travel, significant street closures, and refusal to answer who will pay for needed changes to infrastructure and SEPTA, this document raises more questions than answers.”
What’s next:
  • The final decision rests with the City Council, but the planning commission will offer suggestions. An independent economic study of the arena is still pending.
  • A second civic design review (CDR) meeting is scheduled for April 2, where the public can provide feedback and hear updates on the proposal. Registration for attendance via Zoom is available, allowing more flexibility for concerns to be submitted to the CDR committee.
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