Saturday, February 6, 2016

Buccinis buy ex-MBNA HQ

  Buccini/Pollin Group, Wilmington, says it's bought MBNA Corp.'s old headquarters on Delaware 273 in Ogletown, between Wilmington and Newark, Del., and will spend $5 million rehabbing the 453,000-square-foot complex and re-branding it as the

Buccinis buy ex-MBNA HQ


  Buccini/Pollin Group, Wilmington, says it's bought MBNA Corp.'s old headquarters on Delaware 273 in Ogletown, between Wilmington and Newark, Del., and will spend $5 million turning the 453,000-square-foot complex into the Iron Hill Corporate Center for corporate tenants.
  UPDATED: Managing partner Christopher F. Buccini won't say what he's paying for the complex. Peter Davisson, principal at Jackson Cross Partners in Wilmington, estimated the price at $25 million to $28 million. "We've talked to some people who've experssed interest," Davisson added.
   The complex was built in the 1980s and 90s by MBNA founder Charles M. Cawley on the site of an old shopping center. As MBNA grew to be the largest independent credit card company, Cawley added low-rise, wide-windowed offices linked by bridges. MBNA kept Ogletown as a call center after moving its headquarters to downtown Wilmington in the 1990s.
  Bank of America Corp. moved out of most of the Ogletown complex and part of MBNA's six-block Wilmington compound after buying MBNA and laying off many of its 10,000 local workers two years ago. The company will keep 85,000 square feet at Ogletown.  
  The northern Delaware commercial real estate market has been depressed by cuts at BofA and the DuPont Co., CB Richard Ellis said in a report last week. CBRE's Steve Marzullo and Bruce Strasburg represented Bank of America on the sale, and CBRE's Delaware team will be Buccini's leasing agent.
  Buccini says Iron Hill can attract tenants because it's close to I-95, Christiana Hospital, and nearby operations of AstraZeneca, JPMorgan Chase and other corporations. Another big local employer, Chrysler, says it's planning to close its auto assembly plant.
  MBNA named the complex for the late NHL star goalie Roger Crozier, the company's facilities manager during the 1990s. Buccini is renaming it for a nearby Revolutionary War mining site that rises from the flat Delmarva peninsula. 
  The Wilmington firm, based next door to the Buccini family's sheet metal duct plant, has lately built high-rise apartments and fancy rowhomes on Wilmington's Christina River waterfront, and is planning residential and business projects along the Delaware near an office building it owns in Chester, Pa. 

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Joseph N. DiStefano
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