(Photo by Holly Quinn)
While BPG property Concord Plaza near Route 202 has seen a lot of recent multi-use development, the existing office park behind it is looking pretty tired.
Robert Herrera, founder of The Mill, is looking to wake the plaza up — or, at least, the wooded lot and building that was once called The Baynard, and will soon be called The Mill Concord.
“We looked at a lot of places to expand,” said Herrera during a tour of the space with Technical.ly. “Although people always say there are office vacancies, finding the right amount of square footage I’m looking for, which is always above 20,000, [is hard to] find. This was the only building I could find that I could get this much square footage in.”
Right now, the outside of the building (surrounded by lots of convenient free parking, an amenity that’s lacking at the downtown location) looks pretty much like all of the other buildings in the office park, which was built in 1979, except for the large plywood panels covering the picture windows that line one side of the building.
“This is going to be really cool,” Herrera said. “These big windows will open out to a pergola, so people can have an indoor-outdoor experience.”
Inside the first-floor space, the under-construction layout, all designed by Herrera, is a maze of the metal skeletons of the features they’re soon to be. As the tour goes on, it comes into focus.
There is the beginning of an L-shaped bar that will serve as both a place to have a beer and a communal workspace. There are two phone booths for privacy, and booths for small meetings, as well as larger conference rooms, and a grab-and-go market. (The nearest restaurant is a Chuck E. Cheese, though the expanded multi-use plaza has some new lunch options.) This is the common area everyone has access to, and where general coworking members can work for about $65 a month.
The second floor is all private offices, ranging from 100-square-foot mini offices (The Mill’s most popular offering) to larger offices that can accommodate a small team. All in all, there will be 16 small offices, 16 medium-sized offices, and eight large offices of varying sizes. The second floor will have its own common kitchen area, and six desks will be available to lease.
The new space, which has had a few setbacks, is now on track for a Nov. 1 opening. Expect it to look quite a bit different on the outside than it does now. The drab brick may be whitewashed, and the Mill’s logo will be emblazoned on a wall.
“We’re kind of out of place here,” said Herrera. “So I figure, why not embrace that?”
Among his ideas (one that isn’t in the budget for the November launch) is a glass conference room in the middle of a wooded area near the building. “We’re going to do it, just not now. Chris [Buccini] wants it to tie into the total revamp of [the landscaping]. I just think that would be stunning.”
While this project is the current focus of The Mill team, possibilities for the future are always swirling.
“If I do any more expansions of The Mill it will either in Newark, Delaware, or southern Delaware,” Herrera said. “I’ve been to Pittsburgh a bunch, I’ve been to Nashville, been to Palm Beach looking for locations, I’ve been to North Carolina looking at one or two locations. I am constantly poking and prodding. I’m waiting for a good deal to come up in one of the areas I’m interested in.”
In the meantime, there is no shortage of people wanting to do business with Herrera, the founder said.
“We’re looking at license agreements,” he said. “We’re looking at a model where you can build it out and I can manage it for you. When developers call me, I want to be able to say, ‘I’ll give you the tools, I will license the concept to you, I have custom-built software. I’ll help manage the space for you.'”
Check out the renderings for the new Mill space here:
If you’re interesting in the new space, you can request a tour via The Mill’s website.-30-
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