Transforming a building in a 1980s North Wilmington office park into a space worthy of The Mill brand is a big job.
It’s been roughly a year since the project, with the help of the Buccini Pollin Group — which owns both the Nemours Building in downtown Wilmington, where The Mill so far has two floors, and Concord Plaza near Route 202 and Silverside Road where The Mill Concord is located — got off the ground.
Last August, we took a tour of the under-construction space and talked with Mill founder (and designer of the spaces) Robert Herrera. Large rectangular holes were covered in plywood, and there were plans for large windows that would open out to a pergola.
The pergola, though not completely finished, is the first thing you notice when you approach The Mill Concord. It’s been open to several lessees who have had second-floor offices for months now, but it’s still very much a work in progress. Andrew Larason, The Mill’s community manager who is involved with the interior design, gave Technical.ly a tour of the space on Monday afternoon, which will soon have its big grand opening (date TBA).
“It’s about the outdoors,” Larason said, opening one of four large windows — really more like glass doors — that open to the pergola. In the spring, the doors will be open on nice days, giving the space an indoor-outdoor feel, he said. Ideally, members will be able to work on the outdoor deck, once the Wi-Fi reliably covers the outside space.
The reception area features a “living wall” of low-maintenance moss, adding to the outdoorsy theme of the wooded location.
The bar area with charging stations faces a coffee and beer station, which can be used as communal work space, a happy hour spot, or a place to have lunch; part of the bar lowers for wheelchair accessibility. On the other side of the bar area is a wall of wooden booths, which Larason points out are a free alternative to renting a conference room for small groups, and a wall of glass-encased conference rooms.
The common space, like the common space at the downtown Mill, will have couches and an additional communal work table.
Upstairs, the offices — more than 40 of them — seem to go on forever. That’s where members who rent a designated desk will also be located.
So far, the space is about 30% leased, and folks are busy working in the new offices as the downstairs common area comes together.
“It’s interesting to see the difference [between members of the downtown Mill location and The Mill Concord],” said Larason. “Downtown, we see a lot of bankers and lawyers. Out here we’re getting a lot of real estate agents and people who work from home. Young mothers starting their own businesses have been coming in. It’s neat to see what we’re drawing out here.”
There’s another perk to being in the suburbs (beside the free parking): “The biggest draw is the people who live 10 minutes away [in North Wilmington] who maybe have an office downtown,” he said. “Sometimes you need to go into Wilmington, but it’s good for when you want to work from home but not work at home.”
Take a look at the progress at The Mill Concord — and again, compare it to last August: