If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



DuPont will sell Chestnut Run Laboratory campus to real estate firm

Developer plans to turn the site into a science and tech hub

by Craig Bettenhausen
January 6, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 2


A black-and-white photo of a lab.
Credit: Hagley Museum and Library
DuPont researchers developed and tested cellophane films at Chestnut Run.

DuPont has signed a letter of intent to sell its 74,000 m2 Chestnut Run lab campus in Wilmington, Delaware, to MRA Group, a science-focused real estate development firm. The companies did not disclose financial details.

DuPont will lease several lab buildings at the site from MRA, which plans to convert Chestnut Run into a tech hub emphasizing chemistry, life sciences, and advanced materials. DuPont will retain its adjacent office space, home of the firm’s corporate headquarters since it moved from downtown Wilmington in 2014.

DuPont struck an agreement last year to sell the site to the developer Delle Donne & Associates, but the deal fell through. MRA says it will work with the local community as well as city, county, and state governments to refine its plans for the property.

MRA is about halfway through a similar conversion project at a former Rohm and Haas campus outside of Philadelphia. The 20 companies that have leased space at the site, now called Spring House Innovation Park, tilt heavily toward chemistry and allied sciences. The site also has a gym, and MRA plans to add retail, restaurants, a hotel, and childcare.

A former DuPont site in Wilmington is being redeveloped as Barley Mill Plaza, a 56,000 m2 mixed-use facility. DuPont says extensive restructuring in recent years has left it with empty labs and offices in Wilmington. The firm employed around 3,000 people in Delaware in 2020, down from 7,000 in late 2015, according to IndustryWeek.



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.