Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc. (BPG) announced the purchase of the block-long DuPont Building and the Hotel duPont, with plans calling for spending $175 million to transform the building into corporate offices, luxury apartments, retail space and a food hall.
The developer plans to spend $175 million on the 950,000 square foot building.
DuPont spin-off Chemours agreed to lease back office space for 17 years. CBRE acted as an advisor to Chemours on the sale. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
This 950,000 square-foot mixed use complex that takes up an entire city block facing Rodney Square.
“The purchase of the DuPont Building and its assets couldn’t make any more sense to us right now,” says Chris Buccini, Co-President of The Buccini/Pollin Group, which purchased over 40 properties in Downtown Wilmington, including two former DuPont headquarters buildings that they repositioned into multi-tenant mixed-use buildings “There is no better way to coalesce our long-running vision for a vibrant downtown where people come together to live, work and play, than to take on the DuPont Building and re-envision it as a modern version of what it has always been, a lifestyle center for the City of Wilmington.”
The $175 million complete project that BPG has planned for the property includes the preservation of The Hotel du Pont and its Green Room restaurant.
BPG’s affiliate PM Hotel Group, the operator of more than 40 hotels, will manage the hotel, ensuring. The 1200-seat Playhouse on Rodney Square will remain in operation with a new entrance from Tenth Street.
The first phase of modernization will involve turning 256,000 sq. ft. of existing office space into an open plan headquarters space for Chemours, with a dedicated entrance lobby on Market Street across from historic Rodney Square.
“Staying in this historic building is an entirely appropriate acknowledgment of our legacy,” says Mark Vergnano, CEO of Chemours. “And just as we have been transforming Chemours into a world-class chemistry company, now working closely with BPG, we will transform our office space into a modern, world-class work environment.”
After the Chemours renovation there will be only 60,000 sq. ft. of leasable multi-tenant office space remaining.
BPG will add about 180 luxury multifamily units, bringing the “stay” concept that has always existed at the building to the 21st century. The residential portion of the building will have its own dedicated lobby entrance on Tenth Street and will feature shared services and amenities provided by Hotel du Pont.
The DuPont Building dates back to 1908 as one of the first high-rises built in Wilmington. The structure was built to house the DuPont headquarters, and is still considered the largest mixed-use building in the State of Delaware. The hotel was built in the Italian Renaissance style, and debuted in 1913.
In 1918 the DuPont Theatre, now known as the Playhouse on Rodney Square, was built to bring Broadway theater to town.
Co-President of The Buccini/Pollin Group, Rob Buccini said, “There really is no other mixed-use project in the Mid-Atlantic like this. Adding the multi-family component and the exciting enhancement of the ground floor retail is what will transition an already vibrant asset into an 18-hour urban center in this new era of amenity-based downtown living and working.”
BPG plans to reclaim the ground floor, pedestrian-accessed portion of the building, and reposition it as an exciting retail and dining center, including the complete replacement of the darkly tinted glazing with clear and approachable windows.
The retail space, totaling 40,000 square feet on the ground floor, will continue to include the M&T Bank retail branch at 10th & Market. M&T Bank is also assisting with the construction financing for the project.
“We are encouraged to see this level of reinvestment in downtown Wilmington,” said Nick Lambrow, President of M&T Bank’s Delaware region. “A vibrant city center is a catalyst for a healthy, thriving region, and this project will preserve and enhance one of Wilmington’s most iconic properties.”
The new retail plan will be anchored at the opposite corner of 10th and Orange St, an innovative and unique food hall, featuring multiple restaurateurs and cuisine styles open to the public.
“We are enthusiastic about this food hall concept,” says Chris Buccini. ”The food hall will be a community hub for people living and working in and around the building on a daily basis, and provide an affordable dining experience that will create a balance with the unmatchable fine dining experience that the Green Room has to offer. We will really have the full spectrum of dining options here, and can focus on leasing the remaining 20,000 sq. ft. of retail,” he says.
The 100 full-time associates of the hotel will be retained, and that the 100 current contract associates will become permanent employees, “This acquisition not only cements BPG’s footprint as one of the largest developers, operators and owners in the Mid-Atlantic region, but establishes BPG as the largest locally owned employer in the City of Wilmington,” Chris Buccini said. “We welcome our newest associates to the BPG team, where we are proud to be consistently voted as one of Delaware’s top places to work.”
Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc. has acquired, developed and owns real estate assets having a value in excess of $4.0 billion, including over 40 hotels, 6 million square feet of office and retail space, 10 major residential communities, and multiple entertainment venues, including Talen Energy Stadium, home of the Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer team.
Buccini/Pollin Group has over 3,500 employees in 12 states. For more information, please visit www.bpgroup.net.
PM Hotel Group is based in Washington, D.C., PM Hotel Group has participated in the development and acquisition/renovation of dozens of hotels with a market capitalization in excess of $1.5 billion. Additional information about the company may be found at www.pmhotelgroup.com.