WHAT WE DO
Ponyride is a nonprofit founded within a 30,000 square foot building in Detroit, committed to facilitating the growth of social missions within artists, entrepreneurs, makers, and nonprofits. In 2011, our community began activating space and seeking residents to offer tools, education, and ideas that foster collaboration with a shared goal of increasing the opportunity for success for all. We offer the opportunity to fail, develop, and mature, which in turn makes our city a better place to live, work, and prosper.
We activate space, offer it at a low cost, and encourage organizations with social missions to utilize it and outgrow our space. Businesses and community-driven efforts that will strengthen Detroit grow and develop here. Creative ideas burst from these doors and our visitors and tenants experience this flow of energy, whether it’s for one hour or five years.
HISTORY OF 1401 VERMONT
The 30,000 square foot building was purchased in 2011 from a bank out of foreclosure. The building was designed by Smith, Hinchman and Grylls in 1935 with a 1950’s addition. It was built for Lettergraphics as a printing facility, primarily working in the auto industry. 90% of the windows were covered and the cement floors were covered with linoleum and carpet. The building continues to be transformed to its original state, exposing the functional and sturdy concrete structure and replacing the industrial windows bringing back the exceptional, naturally-lit spaces.
WHY THE NAME PONYRIDE?
The name came from the idea that we want to bring people back to the time when they were a child, had less hang-ups, and were more creative. We want people to take risks and start a business and learn and grow from their failures instead of sweeping them under a rug. They might fall off the pony, but can brush off their knees and jump back on. Plus, everyone wants a ponyride!
We offer versatile space that can work for large groups, an entire manufacturing operation, or one person with a laptop. Many of our spaces are shared and collaboration is encouraged. Our normally shared/public spaces can be rented for private and public events of all types.
Ponyride currently has 60+ residents renting out the space on a month-to-month lease term. Resident companies have transitioned old office spaces with double drop ceilings into light manufacturing, co-working or a daily 9-5 office space. The dance studio space is often rented for rehearsals, classes and private events while 10 performing arts organizations use that space for weekly engagement. We're known to have guests from time to time as well to fill in the space we have when it's available.