3rd Ward owner Jason Goodman may be able to ride off into the sunset at his sweet secondary Montauk residence, but on Thursday, members of his now-shuttered co-operative art space were busy hauling away their materials, sharing hugs and commiserating the loss of their creative home over paper cups of Prosecco.
"It's really sad. It's like someone died—that’s what it feels like in there," said Jessica, a documentary filmmaker who was busy packing a car with her things Thursday afternoon. "It's very somber and people are kind of quiet. There’s just not much to say."
The halls of the normally bustling art space were empty, with members occasionally pausing from their packing to swap rumors and chat about future plans. Richard Rivero, a carpenter whose company was based out of the space, said he hasn't even found the time to think about his next step.
"Without any warning, I have to pack up my tools, I have to pack up my materials and find a place to finish my project," he said. He added that he paid for his work station a year in advance because of a "sweet deal" offered by 3rd Ward. Now with eight and a half months left on his membership, he said the organization owes him more than $2,000.
"I cant think straight right now," he said, shaking his head. "This is really…they screwed over a lot of people."
Confronted in the hallway, 3rd Ward founder Jason Goodman refused to comment, claiming that Gothamist had printed "slanderous" statements, though he would not specify with what, precisely, he took issue. Asked to set the record straight, an assistant closed the door in this reporter's face.
Upstairs, employees of Susty Party, which sells sustainably-made party supplies, were sipping cups of Prosecco, chatting about the now infamous email Goodman sent to members last night. One woman mentioned he was upset about the "lawyer speak" he was forced to use, and said he was considering sending a more personal email soon.
Still, others are committed to channeling their creative energy toward finding a solution that works. The building's broker said he'd like to see the space live on as a haven for creators, and Scott Sigel is hopeful that its members can find a way keeping their community alive.
"Everyone is devoted to the space, everyone is devoted to the maker movement, in general," he said. "There's a really raw entrepreneurial spirit—I think everyone's trying to figure out how can we band together and make this work."
Is he angry about the way things went down?
"We don’t have time to be pissed," he said. "We need solutions."