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Incyte announces expansion into downtown Wilmington, taking over empty office space

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

Biopharmaceutical company Incyte announces a major expansion into the City of Wilmington.

Incyte is acquiring two former Bank of America/MBNA buildings on North King and North French Street, marking the company’s fourth expansion in Delaware since establishing its headquarters here in 2014.

The two buildings - built in the 1990s - are a combined 517,000 square feet and have been empty since Bank of America left them in 2018.

Incyte plans to initially bring 300 employees in from Pennsylvania - with room to add another 500. Delaware Prosperity Partnership VP of Business Development Becky Harrington calls that a real boon for the state.

“I can’t think of a project in recent times that will have this much positive economic development impact on our state," Harrington says. "The jobs will be professional jobs, highly skilled jobs.”

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki says the direct payoff is about $1 million to the city’s bottom line.

“But I think the big difference maker here is what it means to our downtown, just populating the downtown during the day and at the end of the work day," Purzycki says.

Incyte Executive Vice President of Global Human Resources and Facilities Paula Swain says they will rennovate both buildings — the one on King Street is expected to open in 2026 and the other on French Street will be used for future expansion.

“It will allow us to create an R&D and tech campus on Augustine Cut-off," Swain says. "So anyone that is not associated with research, development, or technical operations will move to the downtown location, so it will be our new corporate headquarters.”

Swain says this expansion was previously expected to be part of a brand new building on the Lower campus of the Wilmington Friends School – but a sales agreement signed in 2019 was called off last year due to neighborhood opposition.

Incyte wrote off $5.6 million in expenses from the failed deal.

Delaware Prosperity Partnership supported several Incyte’s grant requests to help facilitate the move - totalling almost $15 million in state dollars.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.