Delle Donne Associates, Bancroft Construction selected as UD STAR campus strategic partners
5 p.m., May 29, 2012--The University of Delaware is entering into a strategic partnership with Delle Donne and Associates Inc. and Bancroft Construction Company, both Delaware-based firms, to develop a plan for phase one of the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus in Newark, Del.
“Our goal is to align the University with partners possessing the right combination of real estate, design, development, construction and financing expertise and experience,” said Andy Lubin, UD’s director of real estate. UD is entering into a ground lease agreement with Delle Donne and Associates Inc. and Bancroft Construction Company as development manager and general contractor, respectively, to identify and work with potential subtenants for occupancy.
Partnership for change
Phase one of the STAR Campus development focuses on the existing former Chrysler administrative building along South College Avenue and high bay space, positioned on approximately 15 acres of land that will be remodeled and expanded from 170,000 square feet to 230,000 square feet.
Construction will begin this summer and will be completed by fall 2013. Through this development, health and life sciences would be one of the first sectors to establish a presence on this campus. This is part of the University’s overall strategy for this campus, which also includes energy and the environment and national security and defense, as well as enabling transportation infrastructure.
“In phase one, our vision is to create an innovative and comprehensive signature campus that advances how we build a strong health care workforce and create healthy communities to meet the growing state, regional and national demand for health care professionals,” said Kathleen Matt, dean of the UD College of Health Sciences and executive director of the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance. "It will be an opportunity to provide health care to the community in tandem with student learning, to stimulate interprofessional education and training – and to bring researchers and practitioners together in interdisciplinary research. We will create an environment that fosters health and wellness while enhancing the translational research innovations in education with our partners. The convergence of health and life sciences and health services that co-locate here will ultimately benefit residents of the state, region and nation."
With internal and external demands for space, prospective tenants for phase one include both scientific and academic entities such as the University's College of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, Nurse Managed Health Center, Delaware Rehabilitation Institute, BADER Consortium and Delaware Health Sciences Alliance, as well as commercial organizations that foster health care start-ups and attract entrepreneurs and innovators.
“We share President Harker’s vision that this campus will become a world-class showcase of technological innovation for health and life sciences as well as an economic engine for Delaware and the region and applaud the University’s foresight in acquiring and master planning this strategic site,” said Ernest F. Delle Donne, development manager and president of Delle Donne and Associates. "We see this as a truly cooperative venture with the University and look forward to working together to achieve a development plan.”
“With the development expertise of Delle Donne and Bancroft, we have assembled the best team to develop a plan for phase one,” Lubin said. “Our strategic partners’ will eventually establish a vibrant environment for turning innovations into viable businesses.”
About Bancroft Construction Company
Established in 1975 and based in Wilmington, Del., Bancroft Construction Company has become one of the most recognized and formidable construction companies in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Bancroft now serves a variety of customers throughout Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania through multiple construction delivery methods including construction management, general contracting, design-build program management, estimating service, owner’s representative and LEED consulting.
About Delle Donne and Associates Inc.
Delle Donne and Associates Inc., a Delaware corporation, is a second-generation real estate development company, investor and asset manager and has developed nearly 4 million square feet of Class A office space (both urban and suburban), retail shopping centers, housing and warehouse space in Delaware.
About the selection process
A formal request for proposal (RFP) process to identify and select a strategic partner for the redevelopment of the former Chrysler administration building and contiguous high-bay area was initiated in October 2011. Ten local and regional developers were invited to submit proposals for consideration. Six respondents submitted detailed packages for consideration. Three of the developers joined three others and submitted one package, and one firm failed to respond.
A Review and Selection Committee of seven individuals was formed by 1743 Holdings, LLC to evaluate the initial proposals and determine the group that would make formal presentations to the committee. Five groups were selected to make presentations over two separate days during November.
The committee evaluated the presentations, including the submitted material based on the following criteria: experience of the firm and key personnel in the development, design, construction, financing, marketing, leasing, ongoing property management, ability to recruit high-tech, research and development companies and tenants to locate on this campus, financial stability, prior experience working with institutions of higher education and with neighborhoods, community and governmental stakeholders and a proven track record in successfully implementing and managing large-scale projects.
The committee selected the team of Delle Donne and Associates and Bancroft Construction Company in December as the most capable strategic partner. Additionally, the Selection Committee added The University Financing Foundation (TUFF) due to its knowledge and experience with tax exempt financing.
In January 2012, 1743 Holdings entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Delle Donne/Bancroft group requiring a proof of concept demonstration by Delle Donne/Bancroft that the project was workable.