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Kaufman Development buys Franklinton’s Idea Foundry

Gravity owner and developer Kaufman Development buys the Idea Foundry in Franklinton.

The world’s largest manufacturing space, The Idea Foundry, 421 W. State St., will be part of the large-scale Franklinton development, with Gravity’s residential, office and retail tenants having access to The Idea Foundry . The second phase of the project is currently underway on State Street from the makerspace.

The 65,000 square foot facility offers a mix of office, workshop and event space, with additional tools and technology that support over 500 members. Founded in 2008 by Alex Bandar, The Idea Foundry moved to Franklinton in 2014, initially occupying only the first floor of the old factory. With support and investment from local entrepreneurs Nancy Kramer and Christopher Celeste, The Idea Foundry completed construction of its second floor in 2017, adding more coworking, office and event space to more industrial use. from the first floor.

Gravity founder Brett Kaufman will purchase the building from Kramer and Celeste, while Bandar and his team will continue to manage the space after the transition.

“Kramer and Christopher took a community of local, scrappy creators, put us in a rocket ship, and launched us. Now Brett [Kaufman] supplies us to take us even higher,” Bandar said. “There is already so much synergy between The Idea Foundry and Gravity, and it will allow us to amplify and accelerate our growth and impact in remarkable ways. It takes us from a space for creatives to a neighborhood for creatives, with opportunities that will be unique to any creative space in the world. »

Gravity will provide additional resources to the Ideas Foundry, with potential projects and ideas, including:

  • Build The Idea Foundry rooftop, basement and parking lot to add value to The Idea Foundry experience
  • A maker-in-residence or entrepreneur-in-residence program that would allow someone to live in Gravity while pitching a new idea or concept at The Idea Foundry
  • A designer residency program in collaboration with Columbus Fashion Alliance
  • Acceleration programs to quickly improve the skills of motivated people
  • Pop-up retail spaces or marketplaces for budding artists and creators

“The Idea Foundry has long been a vibrant and inclusive creative space for creators, innovators and futurists, and we are thrilled to officially integrate their energy and passion into the Gravity community,” said Kaufman. “We want to continue to nurture it as a haven for creativity and further develop its underutilized space so that even more people can develop and refine their ideas, projects and businesses. This creates a collaborative and equitable ecosystem that is unique in the world. It is a collective elevation with unlimited potential.

The Idea Foundry’s largest tenant, The Columbus Fashion Alliance, has already started brainstorming ideas with Gravity.

“The Columbus Fashion Alliance is preparing for an ambitious year full of impact. We want to continue to make our production labs, design labs and collaboration spaces accessible to the growing fashion community in Columbus,” said Columbus Fashion Alliance Founder Yohannan “Yogi” Terrell, whose company of marketing, Warhol & Wall Street, also calls The Idea. Original foundry. “We look forward to discovering what opportunities can be unlocked through a partnership with Gravity.”

As with all businesses, The Idea Foundry has faced challenges during the pandemic, initially laying off its staff in March 2020, canceling classes, and halting all entry from non-members of the general public. Next, CEO Casey McCarty shared more about the financial challenges of the makerspace. However, the organization weathered the pandemic, eventually resuming classes in operations in May 2021.

As they vacate ownership of the property, Celeste said, “Kramer and I originally invested in the century-old shoe factory that is the home of the Idea Foundry precisely because we thought a specific building could serve a kind of “Cathedral to Creativity” in the heart of a revitalized neighborhood of Franklinton. And while Alex, Yogi, and so many Foundry members have worked tirelessly to bring this vision to life, we’re thrilled that the Kaufman and Gravity team are stepping in to help them maintain it and expand it for the future. .

For more information, visit ideafoundry.com and gravityproject.com.