Office Tower Set to Rise at UD STAR Campus

JLL has been selected to lead leasing and marketing efforts for the 120,000-square-foot building, which is scheduled for completion by next year. The tower is estimated to cost about $40 million.

By Gail Kalinoski                      

STAR Tower Rendering
STAR Tower Rendering

The University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus in Newark, Del., is getting a Class A office building and JLL has been awarded the listing to lead leasing and marketing efforts for the 120,000-square-foot tower and future facilities on a 16-acre site at the campus.

The university’s College of Health Sciences will occupy approximately 80,000 square feet of the 10-story tower. According to the developer, Delle Donne and Associates, the remaining space will be available for companies in the fields of biomedical engineering, information technology and others sciences.

The tower, estimated to cost about $40 million, is expected to be built by mid-2018 and offer state-of-the-art classroom and research facilities for the university, according to the Delaware Online News Journal.

Located at the gateway to the STAR Campus, the site also offers additional acreage for build-to-suit opportunities. The location is part of the former 272-acre Chrysler assembly plant and is now a master-planned campus that will be a mix of commercial offerings, research facilities, classrooms, housing, retail and green spaces. The university has also put out a request for hotel proposals and expects construction of a hotel to occur within several years.

Jamie Vari, senior associate, JLL Delaware
Jamie Vari, senior associate, JLL Delaware

“STAR Campus is a major redevelopment of a Delaware legacy property that will bring another echelon of quality in the office market in New Castle County, Delaware. With rail access, proximity to major road arteries and built-in University of Delaware infrastructure, we believe that the campus will have similar success and characteristics to the Navy Yard in Philadelphia,” Jamie Vari, senior associate in JLL’s Delaware office who is leading the leasing efforts, said in a prepared statement.

The STAR Campus is already home to a 10,000-square-foot wet lab business incubator for small research companies, a test zero-emissions vehicle laboratory supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the state of Delaware, NRG Energy, Honda and BMW, along with a performance computing company and a clean fuel-cell manufacturer. In addition to classrooms and research labs, UD’s Health Sciences Complex also offers public care clinics with services including primary care, physical and speech therapy, mental health services, care coordination, nutrition and fitness counseling and health coaching. 

“JLL is excited for this opportunity to continue the relationship with both the landlord and University of Delaware. We believe that this project will have great velocity of activity and change the dynamic of the submarket,” Vari told Commercial Property Executive.

The university entered into a strategic partnership with Delle Donne and Associates, which has a ground lease for development of the 16 acres, and Bancroft Construction Co. in May 2012 to develop a plan for the STAR Campus. Phase one began with the redevelopment of the former Chrysler administrative building, remodeling and expanding it from 170,000 to 230,000 square feet of space, according to the university.