Wow. The Mill is looking good - Technical.ly Delaware

Business

Mar. 30, 2016 9:33 am

Wow. The Mill is looking good

And here are the 20+ local businesses that helped make it happen.

The entrance of The Mill, where antique patent models from the Hagley Museum are on display.

(Photo by Pauline Rubin)

Robert Herrera, the mastermind of the soon-to-be-open The Mill coworking space, is quick to deflect attention from himself when there’s talk about his arguably state-of-the-art facility, which could be a game-changer for Wilmington’s innovation scene.

The fact is that The Mill, from idea to reality, exists all because Herrera, who built a successful WeWork facility in New York, wanted to come home to Delaware and build something even better.

But wait. He’ll be quick to stop you and say that The Mill wouldn’t be what it’s become without a bunch of other people, and he certainly has a point. Herrera, in fact, has purposefully — and just about exclusively — hired and worked with local companies and small businesses in the development of the space, making it a community space at its core.

“I’m from Delaware, and the talent is here. You’ve got to get people out of their own way to recognize that,” he said, adding that working with local folks also just makes sense. “When you ingrain yourself it’s just good business, and not enough business practices recognize that. I think that’s just common sense … and I love to build relationships that are mutually beneficial to everyone.”

The list of locals involved with The Mill’s development is lengthy, and at mention of just about each one, Herrera used the adjective “incredible.” Here’s who he’s tapped to help make The Mill a success:

Chris Buccini from The Buccini/Pollin Group

  • Herrera has worked with him from the beginning on the project.

Jeff Flynn, from the City of Wilmington’s Office of Economic Development

  • He’s helped in attracting outside companies to move to Delaware and work at The Mill.

First Ascent Design

  • Pauline Rubin and John Himics have developed The Mill’s website and online presence, and they’ll have an office at The Mill. Himics agreed that The Mill has been a community effort since Day 1. “The Mill has had community in its blood — in its sawdust — ever since it started,” he said. “We really have worked with everyone.”
First Ascent put together The Mill's website.

First Ascent put together The Mill’s website. (Photo by Pauline Rubin)

Gov. Jack Markell

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  • “He was hugely supportive since Day 1.”

Palita’s Furniture

  • They did metal signs in the space.
Palita's Furniture put together this metal sign.

Palita’s Furniture put together this metal sign. (Photo by Pauline Rubin)

WSFS Bank

  • They helped finance the whole thing.

The Hagley Museum

  • They’re supplying antique patent models as art (and perhaps inspiration) in the lobby. “Contributing to The Mill project has been exciting for Hagley,” said David Cole, the museum’s executive director. “The Mill is the perfect setting for using artifacts of invention from America’s past to inspire future innovators and entrepreneurs.”
A look at the current patent models at The Mill.

A look at the current patent models at The Mill. (Photo by Pauline Rubin)

The coIn Loft

  • “They’ve been very supportive,” Herrera said, adding that he’s been working out of there for the past six months.

Tapp Network

  • They built a backend management system for The Mill.

JKB Design

  • That’s local woodworker Jim Buckley, who works out of his great uncle’s professional workshop in Montchanin. Herrera called him “a local rockstar.” Turns out Buckley lives a few doors down from Herrera, and first met him while he was walking his dog. Buckley said people often approach him with grand ideas, and they often don’t pan out. But this time, it was different. He built Herrera a 28-foot long docking station made of reclaimed American chestnut, and he’s currently working on the reception desk. The Mill “should be on Mars, because it’s outta sight,” Buckley said, adding he’s enjoyed being a part of it. “It’s such a great project, such good energy from the beginning when I met him to now, and I think that’ll all translate into his project.”
Here's the huge table Jim Buckley built out of reclaimed wood.

Here’s the huge table Jim Buckley built out of reclaimed wood. (Photo by Pauline Rubin)

CoreTen Fitness

  • The new gym nearby is giving members discounts to fitness programs.

Zach Phillips from The Kitchen

William Spiker

  • Buckley introduced Herrera to Spiker, a local artist, and his work will be featured on The Mill’s walls. Herrera said art will change out every three to four months.
An art installation at The Mill from Bill Spiker.

An art installation at The Mill from Bill Spiker. (Photo by Pauline Rubin)

The Barn

  • As we’ve written about before, Nick Matarese did some branding magic. Herrera wanted to clarify he’s better at ping pong than Matarese, adding that the two initially talked about branding plans over a match. “While I was beating him at ping pong,” Herrera emphasized. We’re sure Matarese would disagree.

Reliable Printing

  • Also in the Nemours building, Reliable is providing printing for Mill tenants.

Dogfish Head Brewery

  • All of their local beers will be on tap. In an email, Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione said that upon opening in 1995, he had to lean on a lot of locals for help, and he’s happy Dogfish can, in a sense, give back by being involved with The Mill. “We’re psyched to serve our off-centered ales to a great group of off-centered entrepreneurs and artists in Wilmington,” he wrote.
Taps for Dogfish Head beers have been installed.

Taps for Dogfish Head beers have been installed.

BPGS Construction

  • They helped with construction (duh).

First State Community Load Fund

  • They provided a loan (duh again).

Brandywine Coffee Roasters

  • In collaboration with Brew HaHa!, the company is supplying The Mill’s coffee, which will include a custom “Mill” roast.
Brandywine Coffee Roasters.

Brandywine Coffee Roasters. (Photo by Pauline Rubin)

Joe Otto from Sovereign Air

  • He’ll be at the grand opening doing 3D-printing displays.

The Challenge Program

  • This group of potentially at-risk youth who are learning trade skills made The Mill’s custom ping pong tables. “The work they did was phenomenal,” Herrera said.
A conference table (that transforms into a ping pong table) built by kids from the Challenge Program.

A conference table (that transforms into a ping pong table) built by kids from the Challenge Program. (Photo by Pauline Rubin)

World Café Live at The Queen

  • They’ll sponsor a jukebox in the space where they display and store CDs for upcoming artists to play at The Queen. Each artwork piece from artists will have a discount code on it for Mill Members to buy tickets.

Herrera said working with all of these people has made for a great ride so far. “The enjoyable part is the fact that I got to have a role and work with these people at all on something special,” he said. “There are so many incredible names on that list, only because I had this crazy idea to do this in Delaware.”

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