Axalta Gets Comfortable in South Philly

A sizable and profitable CRE asset will soon rise at the Navy Yard.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor 

An estimated $70 million global research-and-development center will soon rise at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.

Axalta Global Innovation Center in Philadelphia

Axalta Coating Systems, a locally based supplier of liquid and powder coatings, announced plans for the construction of a two-story building totaling 175,000 square feet.

The company has signed a long-term lease agreement for the project, which is being developed by Liberty Property Trust and Synterra Partners. By the time it becomes fully operational in 2018, the facility will bring at least 190 new jobs to Philadelphia, with the possibility of additional positions in the future.

Designed by Erdy McHenry Architecture, Axalta’s upcoming Global Innovation Center will feature a façade that frames views of League Island Park while providing solar shading for the building’s interior. Since the facility is located just two blocks from Central Green, employees will have easy access to The Navy Yard’s unique outdoor amenities in a campus-like setting.

“In a decade of development at The Navy Yard, Liberty has sought to create an environment uniquely suited to dynamic companies such as Axalta,” William Hankowsky, Liberty Property Trust president & CEO, said in prepared remarks. “We are excited to have Axalta join the expanding number of companies and talented people who have found The Navy Yard the perfect inspirational environment to create, innovate and grow.”

In fall 2013, Axalta Coating relocated its global corporate headquarters from Delaware to Commerce Square in Philadelphia. Its North American headquarters is located in Glen Mills, Pa. with a customer training center in Exton, Pa.

Formerly DuPont Performance Coatings, Axalta is a spin off of DuPont. The company is owned by global asset management firm The Carlyle Group of Washington, D.C. and currently ranks as the fourth-largest supplier of coatings, an industry that has reached $127 billion. Coatings are designed to deter corrosion for products such as vehicles, buildings and pipelines.

“Axalta’s decision to expand further in Philadelphia and bring its Global Innovation Center to the Navy Yard is further evidence of Philadelphia’s standing as one of the nation’s leading innovation hubs and a place for exciting businesses to start, stay and grow,” added Mayor Michael Nutter. “We were excited to welcome Axalta’s global headquarters to Philadelphia in 2013 and this additional presence, bringing almost 200 new jobs by 2018, is a signal of its commitment to our city.”

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