Kickstart This

Kickstarter’s New HQ Will Be a Gutted Greenpoint Pencil Factory [UPDATED]

Didn’t anyone warn them about the G train?
 Kickstarters New HQ Will Be a Gutted Greenpoint Pencil Factory [UPDATED]

Part of the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, though not the building in question. (Photo: Brownstoner)

No more nomadic roaming for Kickstarter: the 40-employee company is putting down roots with the purchase of what the New York Post dubs “a ruin”—the landmarked husk of a Greenpoint pencil factory. Oh, to be Lena Dunham and have the appropriate generation-defining wisecrack for this situation!

CEO Perry Chen informed the community board back in June that, “We are hoping to stay at 58 Kent [Street] forever—to be our permanent headquarters.” What is this “permanent” of which you speak? Whatever happened to pulling up stakes with every addition of 15 employees?  

In a detail sure to warm the hearts of typewriter-loving startup folk across the city, the landmarked building was home to the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company factory for nearly a century, from the 1870s until its relocation in the 1950s. But at this point, according to the Post, just about all that remains is “a two-story wall of mixed red bricks and boarded arched windows.” These Flickr pics offer a nice virtual tour of the area, though we aren’t exactly sure which one is 58 Kent.

Kickstarter plans to convert this pricey shell (cost: $3.6 million) into an idyllic startup HQ, complete with rooftop garden penthouse. Behold, the perfect synecdoche for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s economic strategy.

For the truly voyeuristic, someone is already keeping a blog of the company’s progress on the building.

All Things D reported last year that the company had raised $10 million of financing to date. A little back-of-the-envelope math (courtesy of the Post) suggests that, given Kickstarter’s 5 percent cut of all money raised, the company has raked in more than $12.5 million. Are they just looking for things to do with all that cash?

Correction: Originally this post stated that the cost of the building was $7.5 million, and that the company is at 50 employees. Those figures have been corrected. The wording also suggested that Kickstarter had recently closed a round of funding, which is not correct. Betabeat regrets the error. 

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com