Chinatown fears community, business loss in 76ers arena plan

by | Jul 25, 2022 | Sports

PHILADELPHIA — Wei Chen wants people who visit Philadelphia’s Chinatown to see past the amber-colored roast ducks hanging in a restaurant window and notice the two older women chatting in Mandarin on the steps to the apartments above. “These apartments are full of people who are low-income, who are elderly people, and people who are new immigrants,” said Chen, the community engagement director for Asian Americans United. “You have to think about how Chinatown was created. We weren’t welcome in other neighborhoods.” Chen, along with other organizers and members of Chinatown, said they were surprised by the Philadelphia 76ers’ announcement Thursday of a proposal to build a $1.3 billion arena just a block from the community’s gateway arch. They said neither the organization nor the property owner reached out for community input before the announcement.A spokesperson for 76 Devcorp, the development company behind the arena, said in an emailed statement that the process is in its early stages — years from “anything changing” — and that the company planned to work with the community to help shape the project and ensure it’s “done right.”“We are very sensitive to the Chinatown community’s concern in light of prior Center City proposal …

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