[caption id="attachment_210671" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Discover will move its credit card operations from its longtime New Castle offices to the Iron Hill Corporate Center, a spokeswoman said. | DBT PHOTO BY MIKE ROCHELEAU[/caption]
NEWARK – Discover, the credit card and financial services giant that has long called Delaware home, will move its operations south while increasing its footprint this year.The company plans to move from its longtime New Castle Corporate Commons location near New Castle to the Iron Hill Corporate Center near Newark before the end of the year, when its current lease is set to expire, company spokeswoman Abbe Kalina told Delaware Business Times.“Expectations for increased remote work have provided us with the opportunity to relocate to a new office that is conveniently located and offers more amenities and parking,” she said.Discover employs about 1,300 people in Delaware and the move won't result in any job losses, Kalina added. The company plans to continue actively hiring.The Iron Hill Corporate Center, located off Route 4 between Newark and Christiana, was originally built for another credit card titan, the now-defunct MBNA. Now owned by Buccini/Pollin Group, the office park is already home to Barclays, Coventry Health Care, URS Corporation and The Medical Society of Delaware.Discover has based its Delaware workforce at the 12 Read’s Way facility for more than two decades. The three-story building features 106,878 square feet of office space and a 910-spot parking garage on more than 6 acres of business park-zoned land.The building is owned by the real estate investment arm of NAI Emory Hill, which is now listing it for sale or lease. An asking price has not been disclosed.Neil Kilian, principal at NAI Emory Hill, said that they have not received a final confirmation of Discover’s plans but are actively marketing the building for a new tenant or owner in case it does leave. He said that another financial services company or any office employer would be a good fit at the Class A property near Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 13.Discover’s office switch would be among the first major moves for one of Delaware’s larger employers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only an estimated 25% or so of the greater Wilmington area’s office workers are back in their workplaces, according to recent brokerage reports.With office landlords beginning to see an uptick in vacancies and subleases, there is some concern that continued utilization of remote working could lead to further downsizing in the commercial real estate market. With new vacancies and sublease opportunities, companies are also seeing a renter’s market in terms of asking prices, with square-footage prices dropping about 50 cents year-over-year.