Technical.ly Philly

Business

Oct. 9, 2013 3:52 pm

Classes at 3rd Ward Philadelphia are done: Is the makerspace next?

Technically Philly has heard rumors for the past few weeks about the makerspace closing as a whole, and 3rd Ward Brooklyn also appears to be in trouble, according to reports from the New York Observer and Gothamist. 3rd Ward Philadelphia staffers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Photo from 3rd Ward.

Upcoming classes at 3rd Ward Philadelphia have been cancelled, sources are telling Technically Philly, including one 3rd Ward instructor and member and one student of a 3rd Ward class.

Technically Philly has heard rumors for the past few weeks about the makerspace closing as a whole, and 3rd Ward Brooklyn, which opened in May 2006, also appears to be in trouble, according to reports from the New York Observer and Gothamist. 3rd Ward Philadelphia staffers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

How permanent the closure is just speculation for the moment.

This news comes after reports that 3rd Ward was looking to raise $1.5 million on Fundrise, a crowdfunding platform. The organization said that the 27,000 square-foot 3rd Ward Philadelphia, which opened in April 2013, nearly a year after its original launch date, was “requiring more capital than expected to achieve profitability or reach cash flow break-even.”

Gothamist also reported that 3rd Ward Philadelphia cut 50 percent of its Philadelphia staff in July.

Impact Hub Philly, the coworking space being run out of 3rd Ward Philadelphia, will continue to operate, said Impact Hub Philly staffer Jeff Shiau. Sign up to be a founding member here.

The space was developed by Philadelphia businessman Paul Maiello and New York City developer David Belt, which could mean that even if 3rd Ward as an organization closes or is on hold for now, other activities at the space could continue.

3rd Ward’s website no longer lists any Philadelphia classes. One student, who had only completed one class out of the series he paid for, said he was told he would receive “credit” so he could take another 3rd Ward class but said that 3rd Ward has not returned his phone calls since then.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technically Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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  • JKriner

    This is sad and disappointing. One of my favorite new Philadelphia endeavors.

    The Observer piece paints a grim picture.

  • konradprojects

    People taking classes at 3rd Ward Philly might be interested in the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym for classes and memberships.

  • TheRabble

    unfortunate! For folks who are now looking for woodworking classes or woodshop space I suggest checking out Philadelphia Woodworks (.com) you can learn or just do your own thing