(Image courtesy of Robert Herrera)
Wilmington’s Innovation Corridor is growing, and another coworking space hopes to contribute to that growth.
Headed up by local architect Robert Herrera in collaboration with Buccini/Pollin Group, The Mill will officially open its doors on the fourth floor of the Nemours Building on April 1, 2016 with a soft launch happening in early spring.
“The goal of The Mill is not to be a one-trick pony. I don’t want to turn anybody away” said Herrera. “I want to have something to offer everybody across different platforms, professions, price points, demographics.”
The Mill, he said, will seek to provide a shared, community-driven workspace for location-independent workers, entrepreneurs, early-stage startups and everything in between.
“The most successful instances of coworking are when you get a very diverse, very different crowd of people coming together. That’s always when they work the best,” Herrera said. “That’s been my goal since day one. That’s where I believe coworking is successful, when you have a very wide range of people.”
Herrera said that rather than compete with existing coworking spaces in Wilmington, namely coIN Loft and 1313 Innovation, The Mill will serve as another stone in the path towards a robust innovation economy.
“I think this is only going to be another building block in what is to come,” he said. “The Mill will be one small part. There’s a lot of innovation that will continue to happen in and around this area.”
Herrera would know.
Before taking on The Mill, he worked on a handful of coworking projects in Manhattan for WeWork, commuting back and forth between Wilmington and New York. It was during this time that Herrera said he was introduced to Chris and Rob Buccini through a friend of a friend. The real estate developers were thinking of getting into the coworking game — and Herrera turned out to be their golden ticket.
“I’m an architect by trade, but this is something I’ve always been passionate about,” Herrera said. “As cofounder of The Mill, I’m going to stick around and really be a part of this community — really try to drive this thing forward.”
As for the name, Herrera said it’s a kind of homage to Delaware’s manufacturing history.
Display cases in the space will feature patent models from the Hagley Museum, which Herrera said has been “nothing but supportive” of The Mill since its inception. But the name is also a reminder that The Mill, while harkening back to Delaware’s past in name only, will serve as a reminder that history is exactly that — and the new economy is among us.