Who is David Adelman?  Arena developer Sixers is a Montco billionaire

Who is David Adelman? Arena developer Sixers is a Montco billionaire

When the Sixers made public their plan for a downtown arena, they also announced the existence of 76 Devcorp. Formed to further the effort to bring a stadium to 10th and Market Streets, the new development company is chaired by David Adelman.

Adelman is a longtime player in Philly real estate – like, starting when he was a teenager – and has a couple of connections with the 76ers.


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People in the University of Pennsylvania orbit probably know him from Campus Apartments, the largest student housing company. Adelman was the CEO of that company for 25 years, but his footprint is even bigger.

Here’s what we know about the man who, if the project is finalized, will build what is called 76 Place at Market East.

Where did it start from?

Adelman, 50, was born and raised in Penn Valley, Lower Merion. He is a long-term investor in Philadelphia real estate. How much time? He started as a teenager, the story goes, when he gave $ 2,000 of his bar mitzvah money to developer Alan Horwitz to invest in a property between 45th and Pine Streets.

Horwitz, a family friend who mentored the young Adelman, is the founder of Campus Apartments. The company started in the late 1950s to cater to Penn students, but has expanded nationwide.

Many Philadelphia people already know Horwitz, whether he realizes it or not, as the 76ers Sixth Man, a ground-seat fanatic who is basically what Spike Lee is to Madison Square Garden, minus the pedigree of the Wells Fargo Center. direction.

Adelman succeeded Horwitz as CEO of Campus Apartments in 1997 and increased his holdings from there.

The grandson of a Holocaust survivor, he is a former president of the Philadelphia Holocaust Foundation. He is also on several other boards, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, University City District, Penn Medicine, and the USC Shoah Foundation, according to his online bios of him.

What holdings does he have now and how rich is he?

Adelman said real estate is his favorite investment, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking other initiatives.

He is vice president of wealth management firm FS Investments, fka Franklin Square Capital Partners, which he co-founded in 2007 and is known for pioneering investment work through business development firms. Adelman also founded Darco Capital, a venture capital firm that has invested in GoPuff, the 76ers Innovation Lab and Premier League club Crystal Palace.

Campus Apartments, where it all began and where he is still CEO, has more than $ 1.5 billion in assets under management in 18 states across more than 50 universities and colleges, according to its website.

Among his various holdings – the most profitable of which would be FS Investments, with $ 25 billion in assets – Insider estimated that Adelman has a personal net worth of around $ 1.6 billion.

What is its role in the campus district?

Adelman helped found the University City District, a special services district that transformed the part of West Philadelphia around Penn and Drexel. Today he is the vice president of the UCD board.

In a fact sheet published when the group first started in 1997, a Penn official described UCD as a community revitalization partnership “by local owners and other stakeholders to develop and implement a cleanup program. , security and other services “, which” acts as an advocate for the improvement of city services “.

In Philadelphia, business improvement districts are funded by a tax or a tax on landowners or businesses in the area to provide services to the immediate area. Adelman was initially the district’s largest private sector benefactor, according to a Multifamily Executive magazine profile, contributing half a million dollars over a decade.

Twenty-five years after its founding, UCD organizes events such as Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, hosts pop-ups like The Porch at 30th Street, maintains a police force, operates the LUCY shuttle, and cleans up garbage and trash in the neighborhood. UCD has also been cited as a factor in the area’s long and inexorable gentrification.

Speaking in a video celebrating the UCD’s 20th anniversary, Adelman said that “we’ve come to a point where we can really focus on the positives” in West Philly, increasing the district’s impact on the city.

This time he was taken to court

Penn students have had scruples with running Campus Apartments over the years, as reported by The Daily Pennsylvanian, claiming negligent maintenance and other complaints.

In 2013, six students filed a lawsuit over a Penn-owned property managed by Campus Apartments. They cited “absolutely reprehensible conditions,” including mold, rodents and the collapsing bathroom ceiling, which Campus Apartments originally claimed was the tenant’s fault, the result of a faulty bathroom.

The case ended in a secret agreement.

What is Adelman’s role in 76 Devcorp?

It is basically focusing on building the Center City arena.

When Sixers managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer announced their plan to locate 76 Place at the top of a block in the Philadelphia Fashion District, they said Adelman had been given “the mandate to locate, design and develop a destination that serves as a world-class arena facility. “

Adelman will work on the project with Mosaic Development Partners, a local black-owned company. He expressed the importance of “aggressive diversity hiring goals” and said that “there is no better place to build an arena in Philadelphia than in Center City,” praising transit access to the location and surrounding activities. who would benefit from it.

Some members of the Chinatown community, located next to the proposed site, are skeptical of these promises. They fear the arena could increase traffic congestion and increase property values.

“We see the arena proposed by the 76ers one block away from our beloved neighborhood as a threat to Chinatown’s continued existence,” wrote Debbie Wei, founder of Asian Americans United, in WHYY’s PlanPhilly. “What the 76ers, Adelman, billionaires and city officials who preceded them fail to recognize is that Chinatown will fight for its survival.”

Adelman told The Inquirer that the Sixers arena “won’t move a business or a resident” to Chinatown. He also said that the recent expansion of the project to include the Greyhound bus terminal site on Filbert Street could actually reduce traffic in the neighborhood.

“I think now that we have had the grand opening, now we have to show people that we are real,” Adelman told Forbes about the 76 Place project. He has promised that he will not take any public subsidies.

After engagement and planning begin, demolition is expected to begin in 2026, with construction following in 2028 to open an arena in September 2031.

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