A major Chinatown business-and-community group has announced its opposition to the Sixers arena

Philadelphia’s Chinatown Development Corporation, a major business-leadership group, announced Thursday its formal opposition to the construction of a $1.3 billion Sixers arena on the neighborhood’s south end.

The decision marks a strong case for a deep-rooted, nearly 60-year-old community development organization that many initially thought would be receptive to the idea.

“The platform will seriously affect the future of Chinatown,” the PCDC said in a statement.

The group’s development partnership, 76 Devcorp, said in a statement: “With Market East in a recession and after our attempts to work with PCDC, it is disappointing that they have come to this decision without seeing our official proposal.” We are committed to protecting the city we love and developing this project in a way that benefits all Philadelphians.

That entity, 76 Devcorp, is a partnership between Sixers Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, and Philadelphia developer and part-team owner David Adelman.

The statement reiterated that the group’s proposal included a $50 million community benefit agreement with Chinatown, and said many people and organizations, including a major labor union, have come out in support of the proposal in recent weeks. The group said the project will be privately funded.

The group recently pushed back a self-imposed deadline to get city-government approval from June to this fall.

“The stage will seriously affect the future of Chinatown.”

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation Statement

The PCDC countered the group’s assertion that its surveys had found strong opposition to the project, saying many people in the area were quietly open-minded and willing to hear more information. PCDC found 93% of business owners, 94% of residents and 95% of visitors opposed the platform.

The ad “reinforces the PCDC’s defense of Chinatown,” said the agency’s executive director, John Chin, who said the agency had done a poor job of communicating its position. Making plans for the stage.

PCDC’s announcement comes as another advocacy group, made up of restaurant owners around the city, has organized against the group’s proposal, which would have put the Sixers at a new home at 10th and Market streets in Center City.

The group touts the project as a major win for the city, a downtown platform that moves Philadelphia forward by driving foot traffic, business and spending along a corridor from City Hall to Liberty Mall. The Sixers are unhappy at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, where they have played since 1996.

The Sixers are tenants in that building, which is owned by Comcast Spectacor, which also owns the Flyers. Owning their own home arena allows six people to set their own schedule, determine the use of space and handle all expenses in and around major sports venues.

The 76 position ad was photographed on Sunday, January 29, 2023 at a newsstand near 11th and Market Streets. The proposed Sixers arena will be located in the Fashion District shopping center near Chinatown. “We want to be a great neighbor,” says the sign..Read moreTom Grealish / Staff Photographer

PCDC said a coalition of community organizations collected more than 230 language-accessible surveys and held three meetings with Chinatown business owners. Respondents’ main concern was that Chinatown would degrade culture, create traffic and parking problems, and drive people away due to rising rents.

In the release, PCCC cited the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., which was built at the same time as the Wells Fargo Center.

“We will not allow Philadelphia Chinatown to become another one of these tragic stories,” said PCC.

The prosecutors expect many people in Chinatown, the heart of the region’s Asian community, and in the arena’s worst-affected neighborhoods, to be open to hearing more about the plans. That attitude contrasts with the “No Arena” posters posted in Chinatown and the anger and questions raised at various community events and meetings.

In December, more than 200 people showered boos, boos and cat calls on a 76ers representative at a public meeting at an Ocean Harbor restaurant.

» Read more: Chinatown residents loudly denounce Sixers arena proposal at controversial meeting

Amanda Chan, whose family has lived in Chinatown for 60 years, said it was a “universal protester.” “They see no value.”

A new opposition group recently emerged, RICE, the Chinatown Survival Restaurant Industry, a coalition of about two dozen restaurants around the city.

Joins the Chinatown Coalition of University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr College Students Against the Arena, Save Chinatown

The PCDC was established in 1966 to protect and promote Chinatown as a viable ethnic, residential and commercial area.

This month, the PCDC joined forces with Philadelphia city officials to plan to fund the “Chinatown Stitch” — a massive project that will connect the north and south sides of the neighborhood by physically closing the underground Vine Street Expressway.

In the year In 2019, PCDC opened the twenty-story, $75 million Crane Chinatown Community Center at 10th and Vine streets, providing much-needed space and amenities for the neighborhood. He has always fought successfully to secure more affordable housing in low-income neighborhoods.

PCDC directly serves over 2,000 clients annually through neighborhood planning and community advocacy.

This is a developing story and will evolve.


The work done by the Community and Engagement Desk at the Inquirer is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Editorial content is created independently of the project’s donors.

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