Developers adjust plans for proposed Philadelphia 76ers arena

Corey Davis Image
Wednesday, March 20, 2024
Developers adjust plans for proposed Philadelphia 76er's arena
Developers have been pushing to build the arena, 76 Place, on Market Street, where part of the Fashion District Mall currently stands

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Developers of the new proposed Philadelphia 76ers arena are adjusting plans for traffic flow on 10th and 11th streets, and providing more insight into how they plan to attract crowds to the East Market Street corridor when games aren't being played.

At first, developers wanted to close traffic on 10th and 11th streets during games, but now the updated plan calls for closing only one lane of traffic on both streets for one hour after games.

They'll also have designated drop off and pick up zones for ride shares.

RELATED: Chinatown residents brainstorm different ideas for Fashion District instead of proposed 76ers arena

Developers have been pushing to build the arena, 76 Place, on Market Street, where part of the Fashion District Mall currently stands.

Documents released Tuesday on the Philadelphia Planning Commission website shows the development also added plans for more spots on the ground floor for shopping and food.

This comes after the team was heavily questioned during the first Civic Design Review meeting in December about how they plan to attract people to the area when games aren't being played.

WATCH | Up close: Debate over proposed 76ers arena near Chinatown heats up & Nydia Han talks with both sides

Action News' Nydia Han sat down with people on both sides of the debate to understand the issues and what Chinatown means to the community, from the elders to the younger generation.

The outdoor plazas will now be larger to hold more people, while the original plan calling for wider sidewalks along 10th and 11th will remain in place.

Arena officials say they estimate that 75% of visitors will exit the arena within 15 minute after games.

Developers provided more details on how they believe visitors will travel based off data from arenas with similar size and transit accessibility.

They estimate that 40% will travel by auto, 10% will use rideshare, 40% by public transit, and 10 % will walk.

The study compared transportation data at three arenas: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Madison Square Garden in Manhattan and the Chase Center in San Francisco.

ALSO SEE: Here's a look at the $2.5B makeover plan for the South Philly Sports Complex

The $1.5 billion, nearly 19,000 seat arena would stand on the edge of Chinatown, which continues to remain a concern among those who oppose it.

Vivian Chang, Executive Director of Asian Americans United, an anchor of the 245+ member Save Chinatown Coalition released a statement in response:

"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."

The planning commission's Civic Design Review panel only has the power to offer suggestions as developers submit plans.

City Council will ultimately make the final decision.

According to an impact study commissioned by the development team released last September, the project would add an estimated $472 million in state tax revenue.

This would be in addition to the $1 billion that officials say would be generated for Philadelphia.

The city's independent economic study of the proposed arena was initially expected to be ready by the end of last year, but it has not yet been completed.

The Civic Design Review Committee has called a special online public meeting to discuss the newest details surrounding the proposed arena on Tuesday, April 2 at 9:30 a.m.

Attendees will need to register ahead of time.