A proposal for a new Philadelphia 76ers arena and additional development at Penn’s Landing has been rejected by the Delaware River Waterfront Corp., which instead went with a competing proposal from the Durst Organization of New York.
The proposal to build a new 76ers arena on the Delaware River waterfront would have given the NBA team their own venue instead of sharing Wells Fargo Center as a secondary tenant with the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL). For 76ers owner Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), which also manages Prudential Center as part of its New Jersey Devils (NHL) ownership, being shut out of arena redevelopment opportunities must be more than a little frustrating, and a new Penn’s Landing arena could, potentially, lead to some other associated redevelopment opportunities.
The 76ers plan calls for an 18,500-seat arena, a new hotel, an entertainment complex featuring a dozen restaurants, apartments, a hotel, a public school and a supermarket.
Instead, the Delaware River Waterfront Corp. (DRWC) — charged with the redevelopment of the Penn’s Landing site — went with the $2.2-billion Durst proposal, which calls for six high rises to built in a 3.5-million-square-foot development over nine years, with 1,834 residential units and a component devoted to affordable units. It also calls for a supermarket, a preschool, a hotel, apartments, commercial space, and 94,000 square feet of space for DRWC offices. It did not call for any public subsidies and would also bring in local minority investors.
The 76ers say they’ll continue the search for a new arena site. Their Wells Fargo Center lease ends in 2031.
“As we continue to pursue our future home, we remain committed to a vision that anchors a world-class venue with transformative community development, job creation and economic empowerment for low income and minority communities,” the Sixers said in a statement.
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