Morning Headlines: Which New York-to-Philly Projects Flopped and Which Did Not?

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Image via Curbed Philly

Yesterday Curbed Philly had an item breaking down and explicating New York imports that have made it here and those that haven’t. Sandy Smith touched on this in a column for PhillyMag.com about the Brooklyn Flea’s departure, which he attributes, in part, to its NYC branding. Those transplants that haven’t flaunted their New York-ness do better, Smith said.

Here’s what Curbed’s Tishon Woolcock had to say:

Brooklyn Flea/FAIL: “Has anyone mentioned the fact that Philly already has great flea markets and thrift shops?”
3rd Ward/FAIL: “Reportedly, mismanagement – more than a move to Philly – was responsible for 3rd Ward’s undoing”
Shake Shack/SUCCESS: “Philly has little beef with the chain’s arrival”
Barcade/SUCCESS: “The friendly staff, inviting decor, plus games and craft beer make Barcade an excellent addition to the city’s bar scene.”
Fette Sau/SUCCESS: “A year in, the brisket is still selling by the pound.”

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Scathing Article on 3rd Ward Makes Everyone Involved Sound Like a Schmuck

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Image of Philadelphia 3rd Ward location via philly.3rdward.com

A recent article on Hyperallergic gets into some serious nitty-gritty about 3rd Ward, the creative co-working space that started in Brooklyn then opened in Philly and recently and abruptly went out of business. Reading this piece, it becomes easy to see how the whole thing imploded. Some of the less savory revelations:

– Founders Jason Goodman and Jeremy Lovitt’s early business ventures were characterized by New York magazine as “the slow, random, party-fueled growth of an East Williamsburg empire.”
– Another Goodman/Lovitt venture was called Dubai:Brooklyn, which hosted “lavish, Burning Man–style raves with bands, fire eaters, and paint-can-wielding street artists.”
– Goodman and Lovitt “used illegal parties and cheap Brooklyn leases” to start 3rd Ward proper.
– When the initial 3rd Ward space — which was partly residential — was raided and “allegedly shut down for code violations,” existing tenants were evicted. But Goodman and Lovitt were out well before the shut down, having “moved out of their massive lofts … under mysterious circumstances.”

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Update on 3rd Ward: Going Out of Business

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Image of Philadelphia 3rd Ward location via philly.3rdward.com

TechnicallyPhilly has obtained an email sent by 3rd Ward founder Jason Goodman to its instructors saying both the Brooklyn and Philadelphia locations will be closing for good tomorrow. The vision, Goodman writes in the email, was to create “a shared space for our community of artists and entrepreneurs to have a place to work, teach, learn, network and thrive” — and that’s as good a description as any for what 3rd Ward was.

The letter reiterates the suggestion that the Philadelphia location was a costly endeavor when paired with running the Brooklyn location.

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3rd Ward Shuts Down. Is Expansion to Philadelphia to Blame?

3rd ward philadelphia

Photo of Philadelphia’s 3rd Ward location via philly.3rdward.com

UPDATE: See here for the latest news.

The New York Observer reports that 3rd Ward, the creative co-working space headquartered in Brooklyn, abruptly shut down operations and is in serious financial trouble. 3rd Ward opened a Philadelphia location last year at Fourth and Thompson, and that seems to have put a serious strain on the company. The FAQ on a discontinued crowd-funding campaign includes the Philadelphia location both as a success and a challenge.

Successes. This year we opened in Philadelphia as our second location…

Challenges. Supporting geographic expansion has been costly and a change we made to one of our memberships, in an effort to improve it, caused a downtick in an important revenue stream for us. The full impact of these events took time to reveal itself. Meanwhile we continued to invest in improvements to our space, team and curriculum.

And:

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While You Were Weekending: The NY Times Paid Attention to Philly Co-Working

The New York Times did a feature this weekend on co-working spaces, where freelancers or creatives or tech employees or others without 9-to-5 office jobs can come together and work in a space with other human beings rather than find themselves in eight-hour staring contests with their cats. The Times highlighted Philly’s Indy Hall, the city’s most established co-working space, which expanded its Old City digs last year:

Indy Hall in Philadelphia, which opened six years ago, members organize after-hours jams and art shows in their mural-covered space, all in line with a quasi-communitarian dogma espoused by Alex Hillman, a founder of Indy Hall.

“People aren’t going back to the office for the office,” Mr. Hillman said. “They’re going back to the office to be around people again.”

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Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward Is Coming to South Kensington


BY SHANNON ROONEY

With a distinct lack of grades and an on-site bar, Jason Goodman may be right when he calls the new 3rd Ward “everything you love about school and nothing you hate.”

After more than a year of renovations and planning, the Brooklyn-based co-working/education center is due to open its massive new space in April at 1227 N. Fourth Street in South Kensington.

3rd Ward classes—which in Brooklyn range from building a WordPress site to building a solar power generator—are open-enrollment, à la carte and affordable. He pegged the average class price at between $50 and $500, though some classes can run over $1,000 and go up to eight weeks in length. “We go straight to making to keep the costs low,” Goodman said. “Learn theory on Wikipedia and come to 3rd Ward to make it.”

The 3rd Ward “curriculum” encourages peer-to-peer teaching. “We teach them the basics of teaching and let them go,” Goodman said. “[The focus is on] people from this community teaching their skills to other people in this community.” He and Deuerlein estimate they’ve received more than 300 resumes from Philly-area subject matter experts. By launch, they will have hired about 150 of them.

The 27,000-square-foot location was once a church and later a factory. Signs of both remain. Local businessman Paul Maiello bought the space in conjunction with David Belt and his firm Macro/Sea. If that name sounds familiar, you have likely read about Belt’s dumpster pools in New York a few summers back.

The space is three stories and includes a deck and – of course – a green roof. Goodman and Jestis Deuerlein, who will be in charge of events at the space, explained that students and co-workers alike will take advantage of the outdoor area. The culinary classroom just inside will serve not only as a space to teach eager students cooking basics, but as a catering kitchen for the events that will be held on the deck.

Down the hall from the culinary kitchen are a series of classrooms Goodman describes as “for making.” The media classroom will teach students how to use software and also how to make it (think: how to use Photoshop and how to develop an app to outdo it). In the printing classroom, students will learn screen printing firsthand. Adjacent to that is the jewelry studio, where you can cast your own wearable art. There is also a textile classroom for the budding Project Runway set as well as a circuitry and hardware classroom where brave souls can learn how to put together robotic arms. Deuerlein promised both a hat-making and shoe-making class. Downstairs is a metal shop and a wood shop with hand tool areas and machine areas that will be available to amateur craftspeople and pros alike.

The second element of the 3rd Ward empire includes a co-working space. Lots of airy co-working space. Occupying the third floor in a setting that very clearly was once a church, Goodman estimates they will be able to accommodate a few hundred co-workers.

The middle of the room will see eight conference tables for daily drop-ins and the perimeter of the room is lined with private offices fit for between two and eight colleagues. Offices will go for a monthly fee and come with conference room rights. Single co-workers and teams alike will have access to the kitchenette as well as private phone booths to make calls without disturbing others.

Goodman said that, as in the Brooklyn space, he expects “design-oriented freelancers” to take up many of the desks and offices. Architects, writers and software developers are among the popular professions at 3rd Ward in New York. The idea, he said, is to foster a sort of start-up culture in the space where emerging artists and businesses have instant access to one another. Work spaces can expand and contract as needed, he said. They also expect artisanal producers to use shop and kitchen spaces to create goods while simultaneously renting space on the co-working floor to handle business and marketing.

Finally, the ground floor will also house an as-yet unnamed restaurant. In addition to serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, he said they will have a liquor license. All the better to have a drink with your new friends from class.

“We want this building to be a hub for the community,” Goodman said. “You can’t really have that without food and drink.”