Bankruptcy court OK's UD purchase of Newark Chrysler Plant

    A U.S Bankruptcy Court in New York gave its blessing Thursday to the University of Delaware’s move to buy the shuttered Chrysler assembly to plant in Newark.

    A  U.S Bankruptcy Court in New York gave its blessing Thursday to the University of Delaware’s move to buy the shuttered Chrysler assembly to plant in Newark.

    “We expect closing on the property to occur later this month, and have already begun the process of evaluating the facilities on site for decommissioning, demolition, and winterizing purposes,” UD Executive Vice President Scott Douglass said. “Our internal team is working with outside experts as well as colleagues at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the City of Newark to make this a smooth ownership transition.”

    The University agreed to buy the 272 arce site late last month for 24.25 million dollars.  It also agreed to assume liability for any environmental clean-up necessary.

    Newark mayor Vance Funk is pleased the deal is moving forward.

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    “I think the biggest nightmare for any mayor or any city when you have a manufacturing plant the size of Chrysler close down is that its going to sit there for 10, 15 years.”  Funk said. “If you look at the scenarios at the different auto plants that have closed on the East Coast, the vast majority of them, nothing happened for at least 7 to 10 years.  They become major eyesores.  The fact that we’re in a situation that its going to be converted into a useful purpose quickly, we’re very, very lucky.”

    The University plans to use the site to expand both its research and collaborations with others in a variety of areas, including alternative energy and health sciences.

    The purchase marks the largest addition to the University’s Newark campus ever.

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