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Freecandy: industrial Atlantic Avenue’s creative outpost [photos]

A new coworking space on Atlantic Avenue is already familiar to Brooklyn's up-and-coming musicians and artists.

Looking in on Freecandy's largest open space, from a converted car ramp. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Technically, the new coworking space, Freecandy, on Atlantic Avenue, is in Clinton Hill. It’s on the north side of the avenue, but Todd Triplett, its founder, makes a good point when he argues that his stretch doesn’t feel much a part of Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Prospect Heights or Crown Heights, the four neighborhoods it sits near.

This reporter only lives a few blocks away, and, it’s true: he’d never walked that part of Atlantic before visiting the space. There’s not really anything there for anyone that’s not looking to furnish a deli or get bodywork done on their car.

Well, not anymore.

Todd Triplett at FreeCandy

Todd Triplett in Freecandy’s foyer. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Triplett said Freecandy is the product of the early days of Kickstarter. In 2010, he raised $21,000 to create a mixed-use art and performance space to give emerging artists a place to perform and show their work.

The team has been covering the costs of the space with concerts and art parties since it opened, but last winter, he said, was tough on a lot of venues. “We’ve caught the coworking wave,” he told us.

Located above a roofing company, which is also the organization’s landlord, Freecandy has 7,200 square feet to work with. It’s just about a mile west from Nowhere Studios, another nearby space we covered recently.

Work by These Pink Lips in FreeCandy's halls.

Work by ThesePinkLips in Freecandy’s halls. She also had a full show up in the space’s gallery, with other paintings throughout the space. (Photo by Brady Dale)

“We really are a home for emerging artists, and, now, emerging creatives,” Triplett said.

While working to activate the space during the day as a site for coworking, the organization will continue to hold art shows and concerts. Triplett said that they have broken into two organizations: a nonprofit to run the arts programming and a for-profit to run the coworking space. Similarly, Brooklyn Research is a nonprofit coworking space and a for profit agency.

FreeCandy, coworking space, Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn

Looking in on the main coworking area, from the hallway. (Photo by Brady Dale)

FreeCandy, coworking space, Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn

One of the spaces at the continuous desk. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Found after an exhaustive search of properties all over Brooklyn, from the Navy Yard down to Eastern Parkway, Triplett said the space had been unused for some time and his landlords have been extremely flexible with the team as they’ve held concerts and art shows over the last several years.

Now, they have caught the coworking wave. Once the space is ready, Triplett believes Freecandy will have space for well over 200 members.

FreeCandy, coworking space, Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn

Conference room. (Photo by Brady Dale)

The space has 22 members now. Mostly, they use one room near the entrance of the space, which is outfitted with a continuous desk around the wall. It also has a conference room and a large open area with a coffee bar and more flexible tables. Triplett was able to tell us that at least two of the space’s current members are working on digital products now. We’ll follow up as those products are released.

FreeCandy, coworking space, Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn

In the large flexible area: part lounge, part additional work space, occasional music venue. (Photo by Brady Dale)

FreeCandy, coworking space, Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn

Hangout space in the flexible area. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Photos here should be considered “before” pictures. Triplett said he’s very close to closing a major partnership with an international furnishings provider which will fund a major update of the space.

The update will be turned into a season of web programs showing the space’s transformation and what it means for Freecandy’s members, he said. There may be a similar partnership coming later with another company as well.

Triplett is a freelance creative director with experience working with major brands creating cultural engagement activities. Freecandy’s team is eight people. Triplett has three equity partners working with him on the space.

Membership is $250/month for daytime access. Here’s a list of all the Brooklyn coworking spaces we know of.

FreeCandy, coworking space, Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn

Much of the space is outfitted with items that have a vintage cool. (Photo by Brady Dale)

FreeCandy, coworking space, Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn

If the floor seems to be sloping, it is. This is a former parking ramp that is now used to show different kinds of art. Freecandy is exploring ways to make part of it a public gallery. (Photo by Brady Dale)

FreeCandy, coworking space, Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn

Above the coffee bar. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Series: Brooklyn

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