Washington Commanders: 31. Philadelphia Eagles: 34. Fans heading into the stadium for the October 1, 1 p.m. match-up were greeted by a banner hundreds-of-feet above their heads that read “JOSH HARRIS. GO AWAY. XOXO. PHILLY CHINATOWN.” It was hoisted by an airplane rented by South Philadelphia anti-gentrification activists from the Save Chinatown Coalition with strong opinions about 76 Place: a $1.3 billion plan by 76 DevCo. and Gensler to build a new stadium slash residential tower in Philadelphia’s Chinatown co-developed by 76ers managing partner Josh Harris.
As previously reported by AN, Philadelphia activists have tried to stymie 76 Place since its plans were first released last summer in the form of a protest and an earlier open letter drafted by a group of local architects. 76 Place has been called an “existential threat” to one of the last remaining authentic Chinatowns in the United States. In a conversation with AN, Gensler, the architecture firm working on the development, said the designers “can’t satisfy all the needs that have been voiced but the project needs to entertain, filter, and vet them throughout the process to ensure the project adds to – not takes away from – the surrounding community.”
“Josh Harris has got no team loyalties, no swag, and apparently no shame,” said Kenny Chiu, South Philadelphian and organizer with Students for the Preservation of Chinatown, who helped organize Sunday’s protest. “We all know Josh Harris provided the financing to buy and destroy Hahnemann Hospital, and now he wants to use 76Place to take over another neighborhood. His Sixers chaos is enough.”