(Photo by Lindsay Podraza)
Renovations to double the size of 1313 Innovation are well underway at Wilmington’s Hercules Plaza.
The first phase, to be officially unveiled sometime in February, will add about 2,750 square feet to the coworking space and includes a common area and small offices. A second phase of renovations over another 2,750 square feet of what will be offices and a conference space will begin this spring.
The space has been vacant in the McConnell Johnson-owned building, and it will all connect to the current space.
“It’s been an evolving conversation for a really long time,” said Ryan Harrington. He’s 1313’s education coordinator and has taken on the expansion project as his own.
Harrington said there have been three motivating factors for expanding:
- The existing space doesn’t have a clear front door. “People have a hard time finding the entrance,” he said. The first phase of expansion will provide an easily identifiable entrance as well as a front desk. 1313 plans to hire three college students to work the front desk part-time and will have an eye out for students interested in their own startup or tech idea, Harrington said.
- Sharing the existing common area with members and events hasn’t been ideal. “We end up having to kick people out,” Harrington said. Now, members will have another common space to go to after the first phase. “There will be no events here,” Harrington said as he stood in the new area. “This can always be a heads-down workspace.”
- The new space will be a quiet place for working and the other common area can be louder. See above.
A couple of fun features about the newest space: A cafe space will offer light food options. “It becomes a thing that people in the building have access to,” Harrington said. And he decided to keep three phone booths in the first phase space. The old phones are gone, but the booths will serve their original purpose: People will have spots to have private phone conversations. And one will be red á la London, another will be New York white and the third will look like Dr. Who’s TARDIS.
Teach for America has already moved into the first-phase space, and Harrington said he hopes the other office spaces there get filled and operational by the late first and early second quarters of the year.
Here’s a peek at the new space (which has yet to be outfitted with office furniture):
And here’s a look at some of the space, yet to be renovated, from phase two:-30-
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