Chem company Solenis, which opened a global headquarters in Wilmington soon after it began operating under that name following an acquisition of Ashland Water Technologies in 2014, has a new HQ located in the burgeoning Avenue North off Concord Pike.
The company made the move from its Beaver Valley Road location to the newly built 90,000-square-foot building in January, where 200 employees work in marketing, customer service, marketing and IT, and where executive offices are located. Another approximately 150 employees work at a Solenis R&D facility in Delaware. Globally, the company has 5,200 employees in 120 countries.
Solenis, which evolved from companies including Hercules, Betz Laboratories, Drew and Stockhausen, made a commitment to Delaware in 2019 with the help of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, and received performance-based grants from the state of Delaware’s Strategic Fund for job creation, job retention and capital expenditures.
The company specializes in chemicals for water-intensive industries. Some of the projects it’s working on include a compostable paper coffee cup with a liner that is not plastic based, and fiber-based replacements for single-use plastics.
“Solenis touches a lot of things that you use every day but you really don’t think about,” said President and CEO John Panichella at the dedication. “If you’re using a Bounty towel in your home, our product gives it wet strength so that the towel holds together. If you’re blowing your nose with a tissue, our materials make that tissue softer. If you receive a package in the mail from Amazon, our products give that package strength.”
The new HQ, which has 114 offices and 194 workstations, was designed for growth, with room for at least 100 more employees.
The interior of the Delle Donne & Associates (DDA) project was designed with the help of a focus team, who identified employee needs (and wants), including access to natural light at all workstations; private space for nursing mothers, prayer or respite; numerous huddle rooms; hot desks; access to water and coffee from every space; and lighting that adjusts based on the light outside. As with all DDA projects, the space has a large fitness facility with showers.
At its previous space, the company had to rent outside space such as hotels for large training sessions. The new HQ includes an on-site training center that can accommodate 100 people.
Avenue North — formerly the Astra Zeneca campus in North Wilmington — is a mixed-use development project by Delle Donne that will eventually include retail and living space as well as additional office space. It’s also the home of the Delaware BioDome.
Check out the inside of the new Solenis HQ; all photos by Holly Quinn: