Adelman is a longtime Philly real estate player — like, he started back as a teenager — and has some ties to the 76ers.
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People around the University of Pennsylvania may know him from Campus Apartments, the largest student housing company. Adelman has been that company’s CEO for 25 years, but his footprint is even greater.
Here’s what we know about the man who, if the project is completed, will build what’s called 76 Place at Market East.
Where did he start?
Adelman, 50, was born and raised in Penn Valley, Lower Merrion. He is a long-term investor in Philly Housing stock. Just how long? The story began as a teenager, when he gave $2,000 of his bar mitzvah money to developer Alan Horowitz to invest in a property on 45th Street and Pine Street.
Horowitz, the family friend who mentored young Adelman, is the founder of Campus Apartments. The company began in the late 1950s to cater to Pennsylvania students, but has expanded across the country.
Many Philadelphians already know Horowitz, whether they realize it or not, as The 76ers Sixth Man, a floor-seat fanatic who primarily belongs to Wells Fargo Center as Spike Lee for Madison Square Garden, minus his directing pedigree.
Adelman succeeded Horowitz as CEO of Campus Apartments in 1997, and grew his property from there.
Great-grandson of a Holocaust survivor, former president of the Philadelphia Holocaust Foundation. He is also a member of several other boards, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the University City District, Penn Medicine, and the USC Shoah Foundation, according to his online biography.
What is his possessions now, and how rich is he?
Adelman said real estate is his preferred investment, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing other projects.
He’s Vice President of FS Investments Asset Management, fka Franklin Square Capital Partners, which he co-founded in 2007 which is known for pioneering work in investing across business development firms. Adelman also founded Darco Capital, a venture capital firm that has invested in GoPuff, 76ers Innovation Lab and Premier League club Crystal Palace.
Campus Apartments, where it all began and where he remains CEO, has more than $1.5 billion in assets under management across 18 states at more than 50 universities and colleges, according to its website.
Among his various holdings — reported to be the most profitable by FS Investments, with $25 billion in assets — Insider estimates that Adelman has a personal net worth of about $1.6 billion.
What is its role in the university city district?
Adelman helped create the University City District, a special service district that transformed the part of West Philadelphia around Pennsylvania and Drexel. Today, he is vice chairman of the UCD Board of Directors.
In an information paper published when the group first started in 1997, a University of Pennsylvania official described UCD as a community revitalization partnership “by local property owners and other stakeholders to develop and implement a program for cleaning, security, and other services”, which “acts as an advocate for improved city services” .
In Philadelphia, Business Improvement Districts are funded through a fee or tax on area property owners or businesses providing services to the immediate neighborhood. Adelman was initially the region’s largest private benefactor, according to a profile in Multifamily Executive magazine, contributing half a million dollars over a decade.
Twenty-five years after its founding, UCD organizes events like the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll, hosts pop-ups like The Porch at 30th Street, maintains a police force, operates a LUCY shuttle bus, and cleans up trash and trash around the neighborhood. UCD has also been cited as a factor in the long and unforgiving improvement of the region.
“We have reached a point where we can really focus on the positive” in West Filly, enhancing the impact of the area on the city, said Adelman, speaking in a video to celebrate the 20th anniversary of University City Dublin.
This time it was brought to court
University of Pennsylvania students have been wary of running Campus apartments over the years, The Daily Pennsylvanian reported, citing lax maintenance and other complaints.
In 2013, six students sued a property owned by Penn and operated by Campus Apartments. They cited “utterly reprehensible conditions,” including mold, rodents and a collapsed bathroom ceiling, which Campus Apartments originally claimed were the tenant’s fault, as a result of a malfunctioning toilet.
The case ended in an undisclosed settlement.
What is Adelman’s role in 76 Devcorp?
It mainly works on the construction of the downtown square.
When the Sixers’ managing partners, Josh Harris and David Blitzer, announced their plan to locate 76 Place above a block of Fashion District Philadelphia, they said Adelman had been given “a mandate to define, 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 business. Expressing the importance of “strong diverse employment goals,” he said, “there is no better place to build a plaza in Philadelphia than downtown,” praising the transit access to the site and the surrounding businesses that would benefit.
Some community members in Chinatown, located next to the proposed site, are skeptical of these promises. They fear that the plaza may lead to increased traffic and higher property values.
“We view the proposed 76ers Arena one block from our beloved neighborhood as a threat to the continued existence of Chinatown,” Debbie Wei, founder of Asian American United, wrote in WHYY’s PlanPhilly. “What the 76ers, Adelmans, and the billionaires and city officials who came before them didn’t realize was that Chinatown would fight for its survival.”
Adelman told The Inquirer that Sixers Square “will not replace a single company or resident” in Chinatown. He also said that the project’s recent expansion to include the location of the Greyhound bus station on Filbert Street may actually reduce traffic in the neighborhood.
“I think now that we’ve had the big reveal, we now need to show people that we’re real,” Adelman told Forbes of Project 76 Place. He has pledged that it will not take any government support.
After the engagement and design commenced, demolition is expected to begin in 2026, with construction to begin in 2028 to open a yard in September 2031.