Idea Foundry Breaking Ground on New Franklinton Home
After a year of careful planning, the Columbus Idea Foundry (CIF) is officially ready for its next growth spurt. The creative collective of small manufacturers and inventors has outgrown their 25,000 square foot Milo-Grogan home, and is officially making the leap into a 60,000 square foot East Franklinton warehouse.
Next Tuesday, January 14th at 11am, the Franklinton Development Association (FDA) and the CIF will host a groundbreaking event at their new home at 421 West State Street. Representatives from both organizations will be joined by Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Columbus Foundation CEO Doug Kridler and other community and civic leaders.
“With COSI, the 400 West Rich Arts Complex, and other community partners all within a two block radius of our new home, Franklinton is perfect for us to demonstrate a neighborhood center of education, technology, creativity and entrepreneurship,” says Alex Bandar, owner of the Columbus Idea Foundry.
A master planning effort for East Franklinton was created in 2012, which calls for the development of a new neighborhood center for creatives, entrepreneurs, artists and residents. Other projects announced or under development in coordination with that plan includes Beacon Hall by the Harmony Project, the new Orange Barrel Media HQ, and multiple new live-work residential projects that will gradually fill in empty lots in the area.
The CIF plans to lease the building at 421 West State Street for three years from the FDA, who is already working to rehabilitate the warehouse through grant programs and an upcoming capital fundraising campaign. After three years, the CIF has the option to buy the building, which they plan to execute.
“For years we’ve searched for the perfect partner for this building,” said Jim Sweeney, Executive Director of the FDA. “We wanted something that would not only add to the cool factor of East Franklinton but also help drive economic development and educational opportunities. We get all of that and more with the Idea Foundry.”
Bandar said that phase one involves the redevelopment of the entire ground floor, which will begin construction immediately. They plan to occupy the space by April. Future phases will redevelop the second floor and basement of the building.
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