STAR Tower be­gin­ning to rise at UD

10-story build­ing un­der con­struc­tion at for­mer Chrysler site

Newark Post - - Front Page - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

Des­tined to be one of the tallest build­ings in Ne­wark, the STAR Tower is be­gin­ning to rise on the Uni­ver­sity of Delaware’s STAR Cam­pus.

The 10-story build­ing, which de­vel­oper Ernie Delle Donne refers to as a “hood or­na­ment” for the sprawl­ing prop­erty on South Col­lege Av­enue, is ex­pected to be com­pleted by Au­gust 2018. Fram­ing for the build­ing be­gan ear­lier this spring.

“We’re ex­cited to go ver­ti­cal and start bring­ing an ur­ban feel to the cam­pus,” Delle Donne said.

While the STAR Cam­pus, for­merly the Chrysler assem­bly plant, is still in its in­fancy, UD of­fi­cials en­vi­sion a fu­ture for the site as an ur­ban-in­spired cam­pus cen­tered around a new trans­porta­tion hub and fea­tur­ing re­search and de­vel­op­ment space sur­rounded by parks, restau­rants, re­tail stores and a ho­tel.

Delle Donne has de­vel­op­ment rights for a 16-acre por­tion of the site. His first

build­ing is oc­cu­pied pri­mar­ily by UD’s Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, as well as com­mer­cial ten­ants, in­clud­ing SevOne, In­de­pen­dence Pros­thet­ics, Glas­gow Med­i­cal Aid Unit and the Delaware Tech­nol­ogy Park busi­ness in­cu­ba­tor.

The $40 mil­lion tower will be lo­cated be­hind that orig­i­nal build­ing. The Col­lege of Health Sci­ences will lease floors two through seven, with the top three floors avail­able to other com­mer­cial ten­ants.

The first floor will in­clude an au­di­to­rium, a demon­stra­tion kitchen and two com­mer­cial spa­ces, which will likely be oc­cu­pied by a restau­rant, cof­fee shop or fit­ness fa­cil­ity.

No com­mer­cial ten­ants have been an­nounced.

“The goal is to lease re­main­ing va­can­cies to ten­ants that can sup­ple­ment UD,” said Jamie Vari, of leas­ing agent JLL.

“The main at­trac­tion be­ing able to part­ner with and have syn­ergy with UD,” Delle Donne added.

For Kath­leen Matt, dean of the Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, the tower rep­re­sents an im­mense op­por­tu­nity. The col­lege will oc­cupy roughly 50,000 square feet of the new build­ing.

“It will just do an enor­mous amount for us,” Matt said.

Since ex­pand­ing to the STAR Cam­pus five years ago, the col­lege has in­creased its in­ter­ac­tion with the com­mu­nity. Its cur­rent space there con­tains a phys­i­cal ther­apy clinic, nurse-man­aged pri­mary care cen­ter and a speech clinic as well as labs and other re­search space.

“Work­ing in the labs are all these stu­dents. They run into the pa­tients and their fam­i­lies and care­givers and that af­fects how they think and what they’re in­ter­ested in and it re­ally drives their stud­ies,” Matt said. “What you wind up hav­ing is re­search and work that is re­ally tightly cou­pled to what the prob­lems are right now.”

The tower will con­tain a sim­u­la­tion lab, sleep lab, au­di­ol­ogy lab, car­dio­vas­cu­lar lab and a health care in­no­va­tion lab as well as of­fice space and other fa­cil­i­ties for re­searchers.

Matt also looks for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing with other fu­ture ten­ants of the build­ing.

“One of the rea­sons we re­ally wanted to be in the tower was be­cause we re­ally want that kind of col­lab­o­ra­tion with other com­pa­nies and busi­nesses,” she said. “Health care chal­lenges are so com­plex, you re­ally need more dis­ci­plines than just peo­ple who are fo­cused on health care.”

SUB­MIT­TED IM­AGE

An artist’s ren­der­ing shows the 10-story tower be­ing built at the STAR Cam­pus.

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