Delle Donne pays $55M for Christiana office park; to relocate headquarters
Check out the following article from The News Journal about Delle Donne and Associates purchasing the Christiana Executive Campus:
Delle Donne & Associates has paid $55 million for the Christiana Executive Campus, a 449,000-square-foot office park near the Christiana Mall.
Upon completion of the purchase last week, Delle Donne will relocate its corporate headquarters to the six-building campus within the next two months. The Christiana Executive Campus is located less than a mile from Interstate 95 and Routes 7 and 1 at 111 Continental Drive.
“It is ideally situated for us to sit in that central location,” said Ernest Delle Donne, president and CEO of the development company. “It’s a logical nexus between our Star Campus, The Corporate Plaza and our other properties.”
The developer purchased the Christiana Executive Campus from Atapco Properties, a Baltimore-based firm. Atapco built the office park in the early 1990s and has remained its only owner. It sold the campus as part of a plan to refocus its portfolio on urban industrial properties. The Philadelphia office of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, a real estate brokerage firm, marketed the property after it was put up for sale in April.
Atapco has exited the Delaware market with this sale.
The Christiana Executive Campus was purchased in an all-cash transaction, but used its own financing to put debt on the property after the deal was completed.
Delle Donne said his company is planning to develop a building or multiple buildings that would total 200,000 square feet of space to the Christiana Executive Campus. He said talks have just begun with New Castle County officials regarding the new additions.
“During the due diligence process, a number of tenants expressed interest in that location,” he said. “We met with a lot of tenants coming into the state of Delaware.”
Before construction, starts however, Delle Donne & Associates must complete a traffic analysis and a number of other regulatory reviews. The process is expected to take between 12 and 18 months.
“We will take our land use attorney, engineering firm and architecture firm and meet with the requisite authorities,” he said.
Delle Donne & Associates will occupy 20,000 square feet at its new headquarters. That lease will bring the property’s occupancy rate to about 10 percent, well below the 15.6 percent market average for the Southern New Castle County submarket, according to data from Newmark Grubb. Overall, the office vacancy rate in New Castle County is 17.3 percent.
Among the 85 tenants at the Christiana Executive Campus are construction firm Whiting-Turner, a sales office for Liberty Mutual Insurance, J&J Staffing and some medical companies. The leases are stacked eliminating a situation in which Delle Donne & Associates would have to deal with multiple vacancies at once.
The Christiana Executive Campus acquisition is one of the largest in Delaware, where traditionally, few properties trade hands.
Last year, MediStar, a Houston-based real estate owner, paid $61.8 million for the five-story, 263,500-square-foot 21st Century Plaza in Brandywine Hundred. MediStar acquired the building at 3 Beaver Road last April from KBS Realty Advisors of Dallas.
That same month, Buccini/Pollin bought the Delaware Corporate Center in Talleyville and the Christiana Corporate Center in Olgetown from Brandwyine Realty Trust in Radnor, Pennsylvania. A purchase price for the properties, which combine for 485,182-square-feet was not disclosed.
Contact Jeff Mordock at (302) 324-2786, on Twitter @JeffMordockTNJ or firstname.lastname@example.org.