Who says you can’t go home again?
Former 3rd Ward patrons can finally breathe a sigh of relief – Livestream – the video platform that allows for live streaming on the internet – has taken over the abandoned haunts of the beleaguered art collective.
And with their new digs, the organization is expanding its brand with the establishment of Livestream Public – a number of planned projects for which the organization hopes to bring back ex-3rd Ward teachers to hold classes for the community, offer the space to local residents as a meeting place, and have it serve as a venue for community events such as the Bushwick Open Studios performance that takes place at the Morgan Avenue warehouse this weekend.
On Tuesday afternoon, workers polished the freshly painted floors, while others drilled and hammered. Local artists painted the company’s logo on the walls adjacent to the entrance of the building – and while the offices officially opened Tuesday – a staff of about 60 employees were already at work on the second floor of the warehouse – which is dedicated entirely to the workspace of the organization.
The first floor however is where the classes, meetings, and events that the organization plans to host as part of Livestream Public, will take place.
Max Haot, one of the co-founders of Livestream said he didn’t want to be the type of tech startup that comes into the neighborhood and completely changes the social makeup. In fact, he said one of the reasons the organization chose to move to North Brooklyn was the fact that a number of its employees already lived in the neighborhood. That and the fact that Haot made his way around North Brooklyn before he finally settled down at his current home across the street from Roberta’s.
His proximity to the warehouse is how he discovered its availability in the first place. Even though Haot had been to 3rd Ward he hadn’t heard about its October closing. While having brunch at Fitzcarraldo, a Northern Italian restaurant situated within the warehouse, sometime in early February, Haot learned of 3rd Ward’s fate – and knowing that the lease on his Manhattan offices was soon to run out – Hoat figured the warehouse offered the perfect spot for the organization’s growth.
“We want to be a part of the neighborhood, not just come in and change it,” said Haot. “It’s important to us that we add value to the neighborhood, and in the next few months we have to prove ourselves to the community. We also want to encourage the concept of work where you live – a lifestyle where you don’t need to spend a $120 on a metro card each month.”
Livestream started back in 2007 as Mogulus, but rebranded two years later. It started off with just 10 employees and today it has over a 140 across the world including 80 in its New York offices.
Livestream now joins other tech startups like Etsy and Kickstarter, which have made North Brooklyn their home in recent months.
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