Design workshop offers alternative ideas to 76ers proposal to build a new arena in Center City

From Philly and the Pa. suburbs to South Jersey and Delaware, what would you like WHYY News to cover? Let us know!

Should a new basketball arena be built in Center City for the 76ers?

The answer is a resounding “no” according to a coalition of community groups and grassroots organizations that are developing different ideas they want Philadelphia lawmakers to consider.

During a brainstorming workshop held Saturday morning, more than a hundred designers, planners, graduate students, professors and local residents came together to explore new visions for the Market Street corridor.

Rashida Ng is an architecture professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

“We’re trying to provide a platform and an opportunity for Philadelphians from across the city to really envision alternatives to the Sixers proposal,” she said.

The Save Chinatown Coalition brought over 140 community members (plus a waitlist) to a hall at the Center for Architecture and Design for a community-sourced design workshop to envision alternative uses for the 1000 blocks of Market and Filbert Streets in Center City, where the 76ers are proposing to build a basketball arena. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

She said the organization wants to build a big new basketball arena, “but there hasn’t been a real public process to envision alternatives, there isn’t a plan for this area that says, oh yes, a stadium would have this kind of impact and this kind of benefit.”

Mary Yee, the chair of the technical planning committee for the Save Chinatown Coalition, said many people don’t believe constructing a new arena is the best idea for development in the downtown area.

“Right now it’s basically all retail, and so is there a mix of uses that would be more optimal, and also serve better the communities in and around Center City,” she said.

The Save Chinatown Coalition brought over 140 community members (plus a waitlist) to a hall at the Center for Architecture and Design for a community-sourced design workshop to envision alternative uses for the 1000 blocks of Market and Filbert Streets in Center City, where the 76ers are proposing to build a basketball arena. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

Yee said based on an online survey of thousands of Philadelphians conducted at the end of December into the first part of January, other development options for the area could include more housing, small business opportunities and having open space areas.

  • January 27, 2024
  • Articles,
  • This post was written by