(Photo by Andrew Zaleski)
The Foundery is moving to City Garage.
The makerspace will relocate in October to the new innovation hub that is being developed by a team backed by Under Armour founder Kevin Plank. The former city bus garage at the southern end of Port Covington is currently being renovated to provide space for ventures focused around light manufacturing, tech and creativity.
A makerspace that is open to the public was identified as a way to bolster the city’s “creative working class.”
“The Foundery is a cornerstone component of the City Garage project,” Demian Costa, managing partner of Sagamore Ventures, said in a written response to questions from Technical.ly Baltimore. “The high-touch, high-traffic nature of the model allows us to engage with a broad sector of the local community. It also serves as a platform for workforce development in the local market.”
The Foundery marks the project’s first named tenant. The current space, locate near the corner of West Pratt Street and Central Avenue, opened in 2013. The 20,000-square-foot space in Port Covington is 10 times its current size.
“The Foundery’s capabilities will increase in every way possible,” Foundery Executive Director Jason Hardebeck said in written responses. “With nearly 20,000 square feet, we will be able to accommodate hundreds of members and keep the doors open 7 days a week.”
The new space will also feature new equipment, such as industrial-grade CNC machines, wood and metal fabrication equipment, welding and hot work, 3D printers and lasers, and hand and power tools, Hardebeck said.
Beyond the makerspace, Costa has said additional future tenants of City Garage will be involved in producing things. That could set up the potential for the other tenants to teach classes.
The Foundery will maintain nonprofit status with the move. Regular memberships will cost $150 a month for access to most tools, but some of the largest equipment will cost additional money to use. Members will also have to take safety classes, which will have a one-time cost. Hardebeck said the organization has provided scholarships and reduced memberships in the past. He called the Foundery’s move a “no-brainer.”
“Demian and I discovered we had shared interests several areas; the maker movement, hardware startups, advanced manufacturing, increasing access to technical training for Baltimore, etc.,” Hardebeck said. “Once we realized that the Foundery and Sagamore Ventures had complementary ideas about how to implement and scale these interests, it became obvious that we should work together to realize a shared vision.”
Along with Hardebeck, who was recently named to a part-time contract role as Broadboand Coordinator for Baltimore City, Foundery cofounder Corey Fleischer will be working full-time at the City Garage makerspace. Hardebeck, who recently stepped down as director of DreamIt Health Baltimore, said he views his two new roles as complementary, as both are focused on “helping to build innovation capacity for Baltimore.”
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