For Sale, $19M: 23 acres, South Philly, near Penn, river view

Updated: CB Richard Ellis is asking $19 million for DuPont Co.'s former Philadelphia Works, 23 acres at 3401 Grays Ferry Ave., near the foot of University Ave., in a bend of the Schuylkill west of I-76, along the railroad, where the company closed its Marshall Laboratory paint works, moving 265 jobs out of town, last summer. Doesn't include the strip along the Schuylkill which DuPont gave the city for a park and footpath last year.

The property includes 240,000 square feet of industrial buildings, zoned "Least Restricted", CBRE executive vice president Dan Reeder told me. It was home to Harrison Bros.'s lead-based paint factory from the Civil War to World War I when DuPont bought it; by the end it was producing speciality batches of industrial coatings. Sounds like a place for heavy industry; but Reeder says DuPont would welcome Penn, Drexel, CHOP, the University City Science Center, and/or some other big neighborhood landlord looking for a cross-the-river new campus. 

"There's also interset from retail development. but we don't see that as highest and best use, at this point," Reeder added. He's sold lots of property for DuPont around the U.S. in the past ten years, including downtown Wilmington's Brandywine and Nemours buildings (to BPG), the million-square-foot Barley Mill office complex (to developer Keith Stoltz), and DuPont's former Glenolden drug labs in Delaware County. When DuPont moves out, another corporate employer typically moves in, Reeder said.

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