The NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers has added plans for a $250m mixed-income housing development as part of updated proposals for its 76 Place arena project.
The revised plans, which include almost 400 dwellings and the raising of the event floor to one level above street level, come in the wake of feedback garnered during a community engagement process that included more than 75 meetings with local residents, community leaders, businesses and other organisations.
76 DevCo, the company formed to develop the proposed $1.3bn venue, said that during discussions with community stakeholders, it consistently heard residential affordability is a primary concern. It has subsequently announced $250m in private real estate investment for an estimated 395 units that would be built atop the arena. It has pledged that around 20% of the units would be available for rent as affordable housing.
“This addition of housing to the project is consistent with national trends of combining new sports arenas with mixed-use developments,” the 76ers said in a statement. “In addition to increasing the supply of affordable housing, it will also benefit the city by creating additional foot traffic year-round along East Market Street.”
Under the new plans, 76 Place’s event floor would be one level above street level to alleviate previous concerns from the community regarding the arena’s impact to nearby Jefferson Station. This will also allow for a public promenade that creates greater pedestrian flow between Cuthbert Street and Market Street.
The walkway above 10th Street connecting 76 Place to the remaining portion of Fashion District Philadelphia — currently a solid wall — will also now feature abundant glass with open view corridors behind, allowing the building to remain visually connected with a view toward Chinatown.
The new renderings also show solar panels and green roof that embody the project’s focus on sustainability.
76ers said the final design of 76 Place will be developed with ongoing community input, and announced five new dates for community meetings to be held this month following the release of its updated proposals.
David Adelman, chairman of 76 DevCo, said: “Our goal is to deliver a new privately funded arena that makes a positive and lasting impact on our city by promoting inclusive community development that will generate more than 10,000 local jobs, more than $1bn in new tax revenues for the city, state and School District of Philadelphia, and be a catalyst for the revitalisation of East Market Street.
“We are excited to share the latest conceptual renderings of the project, inspired by community feedback and studying the best aspects from 28 of 30 NBA teams with existing downtown arenas.”
The Sixers announced plans to build a new arena in July 2022, with a dedicated company set up to oversee the project. The arena, which will be privately funded, would form part of the Fashion District Philadelphia.
It is hoped the arena will be completed in time for the 2031-32 NBA season, but groundbreaking is not expected for several years. The timeline for the project foresees that construction will not begin until 2028, after the necessary approvals, design process and demolition work is carried out.
Earlier this year, the Sixers revealed new renderings of 76 Place courtesy of Gensler and CBL Real Estate. The arena would have a capacity of 18,500, which is lower than Wells Fargo Center, the team’s current home, which holds 20,478 fans.
Last month, the City of Philadelphia announced that three studies will be carried out to assess the impact of the proposed arena