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Inga Saffron reports on the ambitions of a proposal by the Philadelphia 76ers to develop a new arena on the shores of the Delaware River. According to Saffron, those ambitions expand far beyond the walls of the arena: "What the billionaire owners of Philadelphia’s basketball franchise are really aiming at is something much bigger: development rights for a mile-long stretch of the Delaware waterfront."
The team is one of several real estate interests that have proposed a development plan to the Delaware River Waterfront Corp. (DRWC), in accordance with a 2010 master plan for the redevelopment of the formerly industrial waterfront in Philadelphia. Work has been underway since 2010, according to Saffron, but the 130-acre Penn's landing site eyed by the team is considered the "big prize" of the master plan.
The news about the team's development proposal for the site seems to indicate that the DRWC is getting close to picking a developer for the project. In the meantime, Saffron provides plenty of details about the development proposed by the team, which, according to sources cited in the article, dwarfs everything proposed by other developers with their hats in the ring on the Penn's Landing redevelopment.
"Rather than limit themselves to the two sites, they want the rights to every riverfront lot between Market and Lombard. Having that extra land would allow the Sixers to build six residential buildings, instead of four — plus a hotel, offices, and school," reports Saffron.