The news comes seemingly out of the blue; just this spring 3rd Ward opened a second 27,000 square-foot space in Philadelphia (where according to Philly Mag, they’d hired around 150 people), were setting up a pop-up in Chelsea Market last month, and were soon slated to open a culinary center in Brooklyn. In an interview in January, 3rd Ward’s CEO Jason Goodman predicted that in five years, 3rd Ward would be “a household name.”
Since 2006, 3rd Ward has been running shared studios, jewelry, photo, metal, and wood shops in its Brooklyn space, where members could take art classes in anything from painting to business development. The culinary endeavors planned to replicate the model of community sharing and teaching, with hundreds of classes and a “food technology lab”.
All of the recent expansion seems to be to blame for the forced closure. On its Fundraise page, 3rd Ward cites three factors in its recent operating losses:
- Our revenue at the Brooklyn location fell as a result of a change we made to one of our membership products earlier this year.
- The new location in Philadelphia is requiring more capital than expected to achieve profitability or reach cash flow break-even.
- The development of the Culinary project required advance spending.
According to a tipster at The Observer, 3rd Ward plans to shut down all of its Brooklyn facilities tonight and cut the power by midnight. Thousands of members will need to grab their art and tools now.