STAR Campus

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.

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 state-of-the-art innovation center, and a long-term research partnership with the University 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, Ti-Pure, 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 designated 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.”

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