Chinatown community will question developers on 76ers arena plan

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Chinatown residents to share concerns of Sixers proposed arena during meeting with developers

Chinatown residents to share concerns of Sixers proposed arena during meeting with developers


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — People who live and work in Chinatown will get the chance to share their concerns about the Sixers’ proposal for a new arena in the neighborhood on Wednesday.

Chinatown residents say they are tired of closed-door meetings and secrecy surrounding this proposed 76ers arena project that will directly impact them. They’re hoping that Wednesday night’s open meeting will provide a safe space for residents to ask questions directly to 76 Place developers.

The open town hall style meeting is set to happen at 6 p.m. at the Ocean Harbor restaurant. This comes after people say they were blindsided by a parking refinancing bill at Philadelphia city council’s finance committee.

They claim the bill contained certain language that would help developers move the arena process along by shutting down Filbert Street between 10th and 11th Streets – a vital area in the Chinatown community.

The bill has since been amended to strike the language removing Filbert Street. 

CBS3 spoke with residents last week who disagreed with the way this was handled. One used the words “sneaky” and “unfair.” 

“This is terrifying because they are trying to ignore the voice of Chinatown, which, you know, it’s a community that has a big population of immigrants,” said Wei Chen, an activist with Asian American United. “They do not put out language access for us. They do not slow down the process – you can see they’re putting very urgent meetings together to push this forward.”

In a statement a 76 Devcorp spokesperson said: “We are coordinating with stakeholders in collaboration with the city to outline what is necessary to make this project possible — which would include changes to Filbert Street. Our understanding is that this bill simply keeps the option open for changes that would still need approval in the future.”

The meeting will be conducted in Mandarin with interpretations in English and Cantonese.

Organizers say a 76 Place developer agreed to send a representative to answer questions.

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