Ponyride has officially found a new home.
After owner Phil Cooley put the 28,000-square-foot headquarters in Corktown up for sale last year (and sold it for $3.3 million), it wasn’t clear what would become of the makerspace that housed startups, small businesses, and artists. Initially, it was going to move into a space in Northwest Goldberg near Recycle Here!, but those plans fell through.
Ponyride did eventually find another landing spot and is now renting the 11,000-square-foot first floor of a former pickle factory on Lorraine Street. It’s only a few blocks away from Philip Kafka’s developments—Ochre Bakery, Quonset Huts, and others—at the intersection of Grand River and Warren avenues in Core City.
According to an article in Model D, the downsizing necessitated some tenant changes, as well as some tweaks to the business model, which the nonprofit is calling Ponyride 1.5. It will still provide affordable space for its 12 tenants, but is already thinking about growing.
For starters, there’s an opportunity to expand beyond the first floor of its current location, and Ponyride may help open a makerspace at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Michigan on Tireman Avenue. It’s also operating a $2 million federal loan fund for small businesses with interest rates at 2 percent or lower.
“I think the mission is still about supporting artists, makers, light manufacturing, and creative entrepreneurs in the city,” Michael Andrews, interim executive director at Ponyride, told Model D. “I don’t think the mission is changing, just how it happens.”