Hercules building’s transformation continues


Following the completion of extensive renovations that have transformed the ground floor of Hercules, the partners of McConnell Johnson Real Estate are set to move onto the project’s next phase: creating a destination.

With amenities such as their recently formed business incubator, a training, meeting and conference center courtesy of The Hub, and a full-service, upscale restaurant, Hercules is set to become  a site for lunchtime excursions, business gatherings and an entrepreneurial environment, developers say.

Other amenities in the atrium will include a food court, a health and fitness center and a Wi-Fi lounge.

Phase 3 of the overall $20 million project included $2 million in upgrades to the building’s systems and an all-new atrium. Built in 1983 as corporate headquarters for Hercules Inc., the 12-story landmark at 1313 North Market Street has been converted into an office center suitable for multiple uses with attractions that will appeal to workers and residents of Mid-Town Brandywine.

“We’re creating reasons for it to be a destination, not just an office building,” said Scott Johnson, partner in McConnell Johnson Real Estate, manager and leasing agent for the building.

The business incubator, to be known as The McConnell Johnson Innovation Center, will appeal to startups in the mobile, finance and media industries and to entrepreneurs seeking international connections, said Paul McConnell, CEO of McConnell Johnson.

“New incubation centers are opening every day around the world. We’re enthusiastic about offering a new generation of business leaders a place where they can test and share ideas and develop the contacts they need to navigate the path to their prosperity,” McConnell said. Space in the business incubator will be available in several desk configurations, McConnell said.

Innovation Center members will receive administrative support and access to technology essential for their businesses.

Innovation Center tenants already include Continuity Dynamics, a consulting firm that assists businesses with disaster recovery, and the nonprofit Film Delaware, headed by film industry veteran T.J. Healy, which works to attract and assist motion picture, television, documentary and video game producers who want to use Delaware as a site for their ventures.

The 10,000-square-foot conference center will be operated by The Hub, a Philadelphia-based business meeting and conference specialist. The conference center features an auditorium with more than 100 seats and a series of smaller conference rooms.

Current Hercules tenants include: Conde Nast, Potter Anderson & Corroon, Pepper Hamilton, VISA U.S.A., Wilmington Insurance and Ashland, Inc.

Based in Wilmington, Del., McConnell Johnson Real Estate specializes in real estate investment, asset management and leasing. With combined experience of more than 60 years in the real estate business, our principals employ a hands-on management philosophy allowing us to maintain high building occupancy, sustain high renewals of our tenant base, support tenant needs with well-capitalized financial resources and lead the community in applying the latest sustainable practices in property maintenance and improvement, the release said.

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