The nonprofit overseer of development along central Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront could decide as soon as Wednesday on a bidder to remake Penn’s Landing into a new district of apartment towers, shops, restaurants, and — possibly — a new arena for the 76ers.
The Delaware River Waterfront Corp.'s board of directors plans to vote on a developer for Penn’s Landing after hearing presentations for the site and fielding public comments beginning Wednesday morning, a spokesperson said.
The meeting will conclude a selection process that began last fall, when DRWC announced that it was seeking developers to construct residential buildings with ground-floor shops and restaurants north and south of the 12-acre park planned over a section of Interstate 95 between Chestnut and Walnut Streets.
The 7.4-acre northern development site, bounded by Market and Chestnut Streets, has hosted an ice- and roller-skating rink and, until its recent demolition, a hulking cement tower built for an ill-fated sky-tram to Camden. The 3.7-acre southern section consists mostly of a parking lot bounded by Spruce and Lombard Streets.
The selection process had been moving along quietly until late August, when The Inquirer reported that the Sixers were among the bidders for the site. People familiar with the proposal by team owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer have said it will include a 19,000-seat arena nestled among apartments, a hotel, a dozen or so restaurants, a supermarket, and a public school building.
The Durst Organization of New York has also confirmed itself as a bidder, but no details of its proposal have been shared. Durst already owns a string of waterfront properties north of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, including a Vine Street lot where it plans a 25-story apartment tower.
Another bid is coming from a group led by developer Hoffman & Associates of Washington, whose plan calls for a dense cluster of high-rise buildings at the northern parcel, with a row of shorter towers fronting boat slips to the south.
The Hoffman proposal also names concert promoters Live Nation and Bowery Presents as potential music venue operators. Hoffman and the Sixers both envision moving the African American Museum from Seventh and Arch Streets to the waterfront, where it would join an upgraded Independence Seaport Museum.