$13M for S. Phila DuPont site 'a steal', says Penn boss

The University of Pennsylvania's $13 milion acquisition of DuPont Co.'s 23-acre Marshall Labs on Grays Ferry Ave. across the Schuylkill from Penn's south end was "a steal," Craig Carnaroli, the university's top non-academic officer, told finanical analysts from the CFA Society of Philadelphia at their endowments conference this morning.

How's he figure? "We've already been offered $3 million more," by an unnamed buyer, Carnaroli said. Work continues on a riverside path around the edge of the property, which was in operation since the Civil War, mostly as a lead-based paint plant, before DuPont closed it in 2009. 

Penn didn't buy the property with a grand plan; it was an "opportunistic," deal, Carnaroli said. For now te school, Philadelphia's largest private employer (at around 30,000 jobs, including its hospitals), is looking at the site for "ancillary uses" such as parking. "They do have some labs there that are useful, maybe as swing space," he added.