Boerum Hill-based MakerBot Industries expanding
Compiled by Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
METROTECH — Following on the heels of recent announcements about the launch of a Brooklyn Tech Triangle — encompassing the Navy Yard, Downtown and DUMBO, a Brooklyn-based high tech firm has announced plans to move into commercial space in Downtown’s MetroTech Center.
In expansion mode, MakerBot Industries, a 3D printer manufacturer founded in Boerum Hill, has leased a full floor, or 31,250 square feet, at One MetroTech Center on the 21st floor, according to landlord Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC).
The firm’s plan is to keep approximately 50 of its 125 employees at its current location, at 87 Third Ave., while the rest will move into the new MetroTech space.
The company told FCRC it expects to create a minimum of 50 additional jobs in 2012 alone in its new location.
Saying he was “delighted” to welcome the printer manufacturer and committed to replicating the high tech lease over and over again, FCRC Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner said, “We’re committed to helping inspiring startups like MakerBot reach the next phase of their development, by bringing their expanding operations to MetroTech’s modern office space, where we can accommodate their need to continue to innovate and grow.”
The move is anticipated for fall, according to Bre Pettis, a former Seattle schoolteacher who co-founded the firm in 2009 with partners Adam Mayer and Zach Smith with the goal of democratizing 3D printing.
MakerBot, named one of the top 20 startups in New York City, manufactures The Replicator, a compact, open-source 3D desktop printer used to make anything up to the size of a loaf of bread out of plastic.
In addition to practical applications like designing a replacement knob for a stove or air conditioner, MakerBots can produce toys, models and sculptures as boundless as the imagination.
“Expanding to MetroTech is a great move for MakerBot, and we’re glad Brooklyn can accommodate us as we grow. The can-do spirit of Brooklyn is in each machine that goes out the door — we even laser-cut ‘Brooklyn’ into the back of the machine next to the power button to show our Brooklyn pride,” said Pettis. “What gets us most excited is when young people get access to a MakerBot in the classroom or because a parent decides a child should grow up understanding the digital design tools of the future.
“There’s no sign that demand is slowing down anytime soon. It won’t be long before having a MakerBot in your home is as common as having a microwave.”
The following is from the company’s website regarding the move to MetroTech: “We’ll be a member company of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle and we’ll be joining other awesome tech companies and institutions like NYU-Poly’s planned Center for Urban Science and Progress.
“We will still be lovingly assembling MakerBots in the BotCave on Third Avenue! The machine that will ultimately live on your desk or work table will still be put together and tested inside these handsomely rugged spaces that have become sort of famous.”
The leasing effort was led by MaryAnne Gilmartin, executive vice president of commercial and residential development at FCRC, and Ali Esmaeilzadeh, vice president of commercial development and leasing, along with MaryAnn Tighe, Howard Fiddle, Keith Caggiano and Evan Haskell of CBRE.
MakerBot was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Glenn Markman and Joe Cirone.
CAP: An aerial view of the MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn. Images courtesy of Forest City Ratner Centers
CAP: MakerBot Industries founder Bre Pettis with The Replicator, a compact 3D desktop printer usedto make things out of plastic, like toys, models and sculptures.