PHILADELPHIA - Axalta Coating Systems announced that its new Global Innovation Center will be located at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia. The 175,000-square-foot facility will be home to Axalta’s global research, product development, and technology initiatives; it will partner with the company’s other technology centers in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Liberty Property Trust and Synterra Partners are developing the project, and Axalta has entered into a long-term lease agreement for the building. Project construction is expected to be complete in late 2017. Upon reaching full operation in 2018, Axalta will bring at least 190 new jobs to Philadelphia with the possibility of additional positions in the future. Axalta’s global corporate headquarters is already located in Center City Philadelphia, and its North America headquarters is located in Glen Mills, PA, with a customer training center in Exton, PA.

Axalta’s team of scientists and technicians at the Global Innovation Center will develop next-generation coatings products and keep pace with emerging application needs. Vehicles increasingly use lightweight plastic and composite materials to save fuel, which require special coatings formulations. Regulations and customer demands call for newer waterborne coatings. Customers engaged in vehicle manufacturing and repair require faster and more productive application systems and technologies. Developing products to suit these and other needs will be the mission of the Global Innovation Center and Axalta’s worldwide research and development network.

As one of the region’s most vibrant and progressive business locations, The Navy Yard’s dynamic campus offers an exceptional workplace to attract new talent as Axalta continues to expand its workforce and develop products. The campus is ideal for researchers accustomed to academic settings, providing an environment conducive to teamwork and the sharing of ideas in a variety of unique indoor and outdoor settings.

The Global Innovation Center, designed by Erdy McHenry Architecture, will feature a west-facing façade that frames views of League Island Park while providing solar shading for the building’s interior. The building’s central location, just two blocks from Central Green, allows employees to take advantage of The Navy Yard’s unique outdoor amenities essential in creating the 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,” said William P. Hankowsky, Liberty Property Trust President and CEO. “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.”

“Product development is a collaborative endeavor,” explained Barry Snyder, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Axalta. “Axalta’s technology spans polymer, colloid and materials science, which bring chemistry, rheology and optics to bear on coating formulation and application. The Global Innovation Center will bring together our world-class experts and next-generation tools to deliver solutions that will meet the needs of our customers around the world.”

Axalta also announced a new relationship with the Science Leadership Academy (SLA), a highly regarded high school that is a partnership between The School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute. Axalta will provide financial support to the school and develop opportunities to establish mentoring programs with students when the Global Innovation Center is occupied. Support for SLA is part of Axalta’s broader commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, which are critical to the nation’s economic development and competitiveness, as well as to Axalta’s commercial growth.