STAR Cam­pus con­tin­ues to grow

Che­mours an­nounces plan for $150M re­search build­ing

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

Che­mours an­nounced Mon­day it will build a $150 mil­lion re­search and in­no­va­tion build­ing at the Univer­sity of Delaware, be­com­ing the lat­est com­pany to lo­cate on UD’s bur­geon­ing STAR Cam­pus.

Ap­prox­i­mately 330 re­searchers and tech­ni­cians will work out of the 312,000-square-foot build­ing, which is slated to open in early 2020.

“Che­mours wants to be the best in the world at us­ing chem­istry to de­velop prod­ucts and ap­pli­ca­tions that serve our cus­tomers’ needs and hav­ing a sta­teof-the-art in­no­va­tion cen­ter, and a longterm re­search part­ner­ship with the Uni- ver­sity of Delaware puts us in a stronger po­si­tion to do just that,” Che­mours CEO Mark Vergnano said in a pre­pared state­ment.

Of­fi­cials re­leased few de­tails about the project but said more in­for­ma­tion will be

re­vealed dur­ing a cer­e­mo­nial ground­break­ing on Dec. 18.

Head­quar­tered in Wilm­ing­ton, Che­mours was founded in 2015 when DuPont spun-off its per­for­mance chem­i­cals di­vi­sion. With 7,000 em­ploy­ees world­wide, the com­pany’s flag­ship prod­ucts in­clude brands such as Te­flon, TiPure, Kry­tox, Vi­ton, Opteon, Freon and Nafion.

Ac­cord­ing to pub­lic records, the com­pany inked a 75-year ground lease with UD for a 15.2-acre, pen­tag­o­nal plot of land in the south­east cor­ner of the 272-acre STAR Cam­pus. That area was des- ig­nated as “fu­ture de­vel­op­ment” in UD’s 2014 mas­ter plan, which called for turn­ing STAR into an ur­ban-in­spired cam­pus cen­tered around a new trans­porta­tion hub and featuring re­search and de­vel­op­ment space sur­rounded by parks, restau­rants, res­i­den­tial units, re­tail stores and a ho­tel.

Terms of the lease were not dis­closed.

Che­mours will be lo­cated in close prox­im­ity to Bloom En­ergy, which opened in 2013 as the first pri­vate com­pany to lo­cate on the STAR Cam­pus.

For­merly the site of the Chrysler as­sem­bly plant, STAR also in­cludes the UD health sciences com­plex, the tech­nol­ogy com­pany SevOne and a busi­ness in­cu­ba­tor. A 10-story tower, which will house part of the health sci­ence pro­gram as well as sev­eral undis­closed com­mer­cial ten­ants, is slated to open next sum­mer. Last week, UD broke ground on a six-story, $156 mil­lion bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal build­ing.

In a pre­pared state­ment, UD Pres­i­dent Den­nis As­sa­nis said Che­mours is an im­por­tant part of UD’s plan to use STAR to cre­ate a “bold fu­ture of in­no­va­tion for our state and re­gion.”

“Not only will the univer­sity’s stu­dents and fac­ulty ben­e­fit from this vi­brant new re­search part­ner­ship, but, to­gether, we will be mak­ing our en­tire econ­omy stronger and more re­silient for years to come,” As­sa­nis said.

Mayor Polly Sierer said Che­mours rep­re­sents “a great op­por­tu­nity for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment for our city.”

As de­vel­op­ment of the STAR Cam­pus ramps up, it will be­come an even more at­trac­tive site for other com­pa­nies, Sierer added.

“It’s go­ing to mush­room,” she said. “It will pro­vide more rea­sons for more busi­nesses to move there.”

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY JOSH SHAN­NON

A con­struc­tion crew works at the Univer­sity of Delaware’s STAR Cam­pus in Septem­ber. Later this year, Che­mours will be­gin build­ing a $150 mil­lion re­search build­ing on the site.

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