When we visited CSC’s CSC Station project on the Riverfront six months ago, there was a lot of work ahead to transform the 115-year-old building, originally known as the Pennsylvania Railroad Building before being rehabilitated into an office building by ING in the early 2000s.
In May, when Delaware was under stay-at-home orders, things were still pretty uncertain as far as the COVID-19 pandemic, but CSC VP Scott Malfitano was confident that the building would open in October.
In case you’re not familiar with the project, CSC — a century-old corporate services company with a state-of-the-art headquarters in the western suburbs of Wilmington — purchased the historic Frank Furness-designed building from Capital One in January with the intention of expanding the company’s presence into the downtown area, as well as adding more coworking and office space for various sized companies.
“We’re 75% rented on the second floor, and we haven’t even advertised,” said Malfitano. All in all, there are 26 offices, as well as designated desks and a common workspace.
The first two floors are newly renovated coworking and office space with conference rooms, phone booths, a central printing station, kitchenettes, a hall of individual bathrooms and a library/lounge, as well as surprises like the remains of the building’s original 1905 elevator.
One part of the project that has not been finished is an outdoor patio — a nice feature when the weather turns warm, especially as people continue to navigate COVID-19.
The building as an all new ventilation system, another important feature in the COVID era, and lots of small glass-encased offices that are cleaned daily.
The design, by Philadelphia firm NORR, is industrial, fitting with the building’s roots, with exposed beams, pipes and ductwork. It includes details like a large conference room table made by youth in the Challenge Program, a local organization that offers vocational skills training to at-risk teenagers in Wilmington that is often contracted to create pieces for downtown workspaces.
The tech, by Solutionz, is innovative, too.
“Our tech is Fisher-Price, it’s so easy” Malfitano jokes. “We locked everything down into your personal phone.” Employee and member phones act as key cards, so they can reserve a room with a tap, and connect directly to the high-tech monitors with a click, without them even needing to open an app.
The fourth floor (floor three remains as office space for Amtrak security) is an open space used by CSC for its downtown needs, including meeting with out-of-town clients who’ve come to Wilmington by train; the building, which sits along Tubman Garret Riverfront Park and the Christina River, is only steps away from the Biden Train Station. And CSC’s floor, which was set up to be COVID-compliant in the sprawling space, has one of the best views in the city, facing the river right between the two drawbridges. Employees get a front row seat when the Kalmar Nyckel sails through (or, more commonly, river taxis and scullers).
The fifth and sixth floors, which are essentially one unit, since the sixth floor overlooks the fifth, remain unrented. As a service to the community, the empty space is offered as free study spaces for college students.
“We reached out to Delaware College Scholars, the Horn [Entrepreneurship] program, Widener Law School,” Malfitano said. “If you’re a Delaware resident [and a college student], you can use it for free.”
Here are some more photos inside the new workspace: