Makerspace 3rd Ward unexpectedly closes

So much for all that: 3rd Ward — both the Brooklyn flagship and the newly opened Philadelphia location (which we profiled in May) — is calling it quits, citing financial troubles.

A key reason: expanding to Philly proved too costly. From a now discontinued online fundraising campaign (emphasis added):

The current operating losses and cash deficit are primarily due to three factors:

1. Our revenue at the Brooklyn location fell as a result of a change we made to one of our membership products earlier this year.

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2. The new location in Philadelphia is requiring more capital than expected to achieve profitability or reach cash flow break-even.

3. The development of the Culinary project required advance spending.

The stunning space in Olde Kensington was supposed to be a playground for the handy and the curious.

“I feel like it’s our baby,” 3rd Ward Philly’s events director told NewsWorks in May. “We all really believe in it and we all know how much potential there is.”

Classes on topics ranging from robotics to figure drawing had proven profitable in Brooklyn in the past, according to founder Jason Goodman. A flavor for 3rd Ward’s offerings in Philadelphia can be seen on its Facebook page, which was updated as recently as Oct. 4.

There was supposed to be a DesignPhiladelphia event at 3rd Ward Philly tonight, but organizers say it’s now canceled.

h/t New York ObserverTechnically Philly

Update, 10/10, 1:10 p.m.

Gothamist reports that 3rd Ward will not be issuing refunds:

A blunt email sent around 10 p.m. on Wednesday ordered members to “collect their belongings before our doors officially close on October 11th.” It added that “unfortunately, you will not have an opportunity to use your membership after today at 6pm, and we will not be able to refund any payments made for membership services that have not been fully utilized before that time.”

This includes the newly minted members, who just days ago forked over hundreds of dollars that’s gone for good.

Also, here’s this tale from a Twitter user:

@zackseward I was a pro member at 3rd ward in Brooklyn in 2011 and 2012 and an instructor teaching up until last month. The organization+

— Vzs (@RV_ZS) October 10, 2013


@zackseward …was disorganized and pretty money grabbing. They tried to expand too quickly without a plan.

— Vzs (@RV_ZS) October 10, 2013

@zackseward I knew something was wrong when the staff continued to change around every visit I made. Teachers were being delayed pay.

— Vzs (@RV_ZS) October 10, 2013


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