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Foundery closing at City Garage, plans relocation to Central Avenue

The Foundery, a maker space in Port Covington’s City Garage, plans to close in South Baltimore at the end of the week.

The maker space, which offered access to industrial-grade tools and taught skills ranging from woodworking to welding, is set to close Jan. 27 after failing to secure enough funding to cover its operating deficit, the Foundery announced on its website.

The Foundery offered passes for visitors to use its collection of tools, from woodworking to electronics equipment, and hosted classes in manufacturing skills and techniques including blacksmithing, welding and laser cutting.

When the Foundery opened its doors in Sagamore Development Co.’s City Garage more than two years ago, it initially offered $50 day passes and monthly memberships for $150, giving members unlimited daily access to the shops. The Foundery did away with monthly memberships in 2017 and reduced rates for day passes to $10-$20.

The Foundery generated revenue from classes and member visits, but it wasn’t enough to cover operating costs. The organization was operating at a deficit and chose to close in Port Covington after failing to secure additional funding.

Established in 2013 by Jason Hardebeck, the Foundery opened its doors in a 20,000-square-foot space at City Garage, becoming one of several maker spaces in the Baltimore area working to make tools and training accessible to the public.

Originally housed in an old industrial plant on Central Avenue, the Foundery could make a return to its roots. The Foundery plans to begin developing its next location on Central Avenue in its original building or an adjacent building at the corner of Pratt Street later this year, a spokesman for the Foundery said in an email. The new location could take over up to 16,000 square feet. The construction timeline is still being determined.

Hardebeck declined to comment for this story.

Sagamore Development is also in talks with the Center for Urban Families to open a workforce training center in West Baltimore.

Sagamore Development previously partnered with the center to pilot a “Manufacturing Bootcamp” workforce training program at the Foundery.

The Foundery will maintain its regular hours and hold all classes scheduled through Jan. 27. The space plans to refund its members for remaining classes, gift cards and paid dues in the coming weeks.

Weller Development Co., which is developing Port Covington for Sagamore, the private real estate business of Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank, has plans to quickly fill the City Garage space vacated by the Foundery, according to a spokesman for the company. More information on the next tenant was not immediate available.

A previous version of this article misidentified the organization in talks with the Center for Urban Families regarding opening a workforce training center in West Baltimore. Sagamore Development is discussing opening the workforce training center. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.
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