About Us

Collaboration for the Community Service Building began at the level of Delaware’s top community funders. Representatives of the Longwood Foundation and DuPont Company’s Corporate Contributions Office met in 1993 to reflect on the way that major fund campaigns for facilities were handled. Two observations were made: one, that there was a constant flood of applicants for facility related capital projects and the other, that not all the needs could be met immediately by the current method of funding.

Inspired by the Meadows Foundation nonprofit campus in Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia’s Robert Woodruff Volunteer Center they saw benefits in funding a nonprofit center in Delaware. After a search for property for new construction or rehabilitation, Wilmington’s Montchanin building, a twelve-story office tower next to the DuPont building in downtown Wilmington was chosen. Parallel to the site acquisition process was concept development with the nonprofit community. Nonprofit organizations were consulted to explore their requirements and interest in such a collaborative effort. Parking was identified early as a requirement for participation.

The IRS required that two nonprofit corporations be formed since a portion of the building was to rent to for-profit entities in addition to the nonprofit organizations.

So two major events occurred at the end of 1995, IRS recognition as nonprofit corporations and the purchase of two properties from the DuPont Company. One the office building and the other property one block away to construct a new 473-space parking garage. Because the DuPont Company was now selling property to the new nonprofit entities for market value ($1.5 million) they were required to keep an arms length from any further involvement in the project and could not contribute funds.

DuPont used the building as an office complex for fourteen years after its purchase from the Wilmington Trust Company in 1980. It was constructed in 1925 and underwent expansions in 1930 and 1958. When the Community Service Building Corporation purchased it in 1995 it was in need of complete renovation and was closed for a year and a half. Approximately $24 million was spent to purchase the properties and to renovate the building and construct a new garage. Seven foundations, sixteen corporations and the State of Delaware (almost 90% of funding coming from the Longwood Foundation, funded the project with no debt.

The Community Service building was open for its first tenants April 1, 1997. On that date, only about six nonprofit tenants and the DuPont Company (with an agreement to lease five floors for five years) moved in. About twenty-four additional nonprofit tenants had signed leases to move in by year’s end. Ribbon cutting ceremonies with enthusiastic attendance of the nonprofit community took place May 7, 1997. Grand opening ceremonies were held September 7, 1997.

Today, the Community Service Building is fully occupied by 73 nonprofit tenants in 177,000 rentable square feet. Tenant suites range in size from one room to full floors. We are pleased by the diversity of the nonprofit organizations in the building. Please see our web site at www.csbcorp.org for further information.