Five groups representing constituents in Center City and South Philadelphia are calling on City Councilmember Mark Squilla to block the Sixers’ proposal to build a downtown arena near Chinatown.
The independent groups — three Democratic wards and two registered community organizations — hail from Squilla’s 1st District, where the arena would be located if the Sixers can secure legislative approval from council. It is up to Squilla to introduce any measure needed before construction can start on the $1.55 billion project, including zoning legislation.
“I’m not necessarily going to live with construction on my block every week, but Center City is for all Philadelphians. I think we’ll all be impacted by the project in one way or another,” said Maureen Brown, the Democrat leader of Ward 39A in South Philadelphia.
The First Ward and Second Ward in South Philadelphia, and the Franklin Bridge North Neighbors and Center City Organized for Responsible Development, also announced their formal opposition on Monday.
“We take all input seriously. And we take it under consideration as they share,” Squilla said. “We take that as part of our process in figuring out how to move forward.”