The wrecking ball is swinging at the former Chrysler assembly plant in Newark.
Demolition started Friday at the massive facility on South College Avenue. The site’s new owner, the University of Delaware has major plans to expand its campus on the site. UD purchased the 272-acre facility through its wholly owned subsidiary, 1743 Holdings, LLC. Once demolition of the site is complete, it will become the new home of a research facility designed to foster collaboration between public and private sectors.
“The significance of today is starting anew here,” says UD President Patrick Harker. “Starting new on a place that is very important to the state of Delaware. The Chrysler assembly plant has a great history of almost 60 years. So now, we’re trying to start the new economy, new activities here. We’re looking at about 16,000 jobs over time being developed on this site.” He says the demolition process will take about 12 to 18 months and will include the destruction of all buildings on the site except for the old Chrysler administration building near the front of the property. That will become the new home for part of UD’s College of Health Sciences.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell was one of the dignitaries on hand for the ceremonial start to the demolition process. He says it’s the start of a new life for a facility that provided jobs for thousands of Delaware workers throughout the years. “This is a big moment. I grew up only a couple of miles from here, and so many parents of my friends when I was growing up worked here. This plant provided for generations of Delawareans great jobs, and now with all the changes in the economy, we’re fortunate to have the University of Delaware at the center of this. This is now going to provide good jobs for our generation and for future Delawareans.”