Since announcing plans for 76 Place — the new 76ers arena that will be located at the current site of Fashion District Philadelphia — the 76ers have underscored their commitment to ensuring the project is a win for all, including Philadelphia’s Black community.
“76 Place is an opportunity for us to not only positively impact the city overall, but to also ensure that the project reflects the diversity and vibrance of our city,” said David Gould, 76ers Chief Diversity and Impact Officer. “It’s an opportunity to guarantee that those who are often left out of the city’s largest development projects — notably the Black community — have a seat at the table and can benefit from the project before, during and long after construction.”
Even though 76 Place is eight years away from being fully recognized, 76 Place has already started delivering on its promise of creating new models for partnership and investment that will support the revitalization of the Market East area and inspire growth far beyond the arena.
76 Place offers a tremendous opportunity to create a new model for responsible, equitable development in Philadelphia — one that contributes to the city’s growth that can benefit all. For this reason, the 76ers engaged and intimately involved co-developer and Black-owned business Mosaic Development Partners from day one to advise on opportunities to drive inclusion across every aspect of the development.
“76 Place is going to be an instrumental and historic opportunity to make change in the City of Philadelphia,” said Leslie Smallwood Lewis, co-Founder and COO of Mosaic Development Partners. “Mosaic has been working with the 76ers for three years and their direct investment into our company has enabled us to amplify our message and deepen our commitment to Black and Brown community wealth-building. The level of poverty that exists in the city needs to be improved, and a project of this magnitude can make that happen.”
“The level of poverty that exists in the city needs to be improved, and a project of this magnitude can make that happen.”
Mosaic has a proven track record of addressing unmet needs of underserved neighborhoods in Philadelphia through thoughtful, community-first programs that reduce disparities while creating vibrant new places. The team’s experience in equitable development — specifically in neighborhoods that have been harmed or neglected for decades like North Philadelphia’s Sharswood commercial corridor and the Navy Yard — underscores their commitment to minority communities, the city, and future representation in the industry.
76 Place will create 12,200 jobs during the construction phase of the project, and the 76ers are committed to ensuring the pipeline of Black talent is primed to benefit from these jobs. The 76ers serve as a founding funder and board member of Everybody Builds — a partnership between the Urban Affairs Coalition, large-scale developers and institutions, contractors, and labor leaders focused on growing the capacity of diverse talent and businesses. The organization is supporting efforts to grow a pipeline of diverse talent and contractors so that by the time 76 Place breaks ground, there are more workers and contractors reflecting the diversity of Philadelphia communities that have the capacity, experience, and preparation to work on the project.
“76 Place is an economic engine to move the needle forward for the City of Philadelphia. It’s an opportunity for the city collectively to participate in groundbreaking project development that embraces the entire city. Far too often, development deals and projects of this nature limit who can participate in the building and running of the building once it’s built,” said Reverend Dr. Donald Moore, Senior Pastor at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.
While construction will be a massive job generator, operation of the arena will create economic opportunities for decades with the creation of 3,700 permanent jobs once the arena is open. These jobs include arena operations as well as arena-related positions such as opportunities for arena vendors, suppliers and concessionaires.
INVESTMENT IN THE SUCCESS OF BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES.
Several initiatives and partnerships focus on preparing Black residents and businesses to benefit from the project as part of a larger effort to ensure the proposed arena is a win for Philadelphia and underrepresented businesses across the city.
One such initiative is the 76ers’ $50M Community Benefits Agreement, the largest in Philadelphia’s history and one of the largest commitments across the country, to address local priorities and ensure the surrounding neighborhoods can reap the benefits of the development. The CBA includes a minimum of a $2M fund for Black-owned businesses that will be used to help prepare and scale Black-owned businesses to become vendors, suppliers and concessionaires at 76 Place, with a goal of 40 percent represented by Black-owned businesses.
“76 Place represents an opportunity to advance the growth of Black-owned businesses here in the City of Philadelphia,” said Regina A. Hairston, President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce PA, NJ and DE. “When we talk to Black-owned businesses and what they need the most, the number one thing they say is capital, and number two is the opportunity to contract. This is a transformative opportunity to connect our businesses to 76 Place.”
The privately-funded arena is anticipated to provide $2.34 billion in overall economic output during construction and $400 million annually upon opening to support Philadelphia’s long-term economic growth and sustainability.
“We are building the city with those who are investing in Black businesses. This is an invitation for us to build with the rest of the city. This is a new day for our community,” said Pastor Carl Day, Culture Changing Christians Worship Center.
The initiatives unveiled thus far are meant to ensure Black workers and Black-owned businesses have meaningful representation and opportunity. In the coming months, the 76ers will continue to unveil additional commitments related to participation, investments in communities, and partnerships to ensure the project benefits the surrounding community as well as communities across the city, with an emphasis on communities of color.
“When we talk to Black-owned businesses and what they need the most, the number one thing they say is capital, and number two is the opportunity to contract. This is a transformative opportunity to connect our businesses to 76 Place.” – Regina A. Hairston, President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce PA, NJ and DE.
“We are building the city with those who are investing in Black businesses. This is an invitation for us to build with the rest of the city. This is a new day for our community,” -Pastor Carl Day, Culture Changing Christians Worship Center.