Mpls. Cooperative Workspace Shutters After Only 1 Yr.
The Mill, a collaborative workspace in Northeast Minneapolis, is closing its doors on April 20, due to lack of revenue.
Opened February 2012, The Mill provided the tools and space for local aspiring builders, artists, and designers to turn their ideas into creations. The Mill housed an extensive array of equipment for its members, from a laser cutter to a 3D printer to simple sanders and saws. Members could engage in woodworking, metalworking, electronics, and more.
The Mill also featured instructional classes taught initially by the founder and president, Brian Boyle, and later by fellow members. According to Boyle, The Mill hosted more than 300 students for classes about everything from soap making to complex electronics to 3D printing.
Boyle recently told Twin Cities Business that The Mill is closing due to its inability to provide the appropriate equipment for its members in an affordable way.
“At a certain point, our revenue couldn’t keep up with the equipment our members required,” said Boyle. “There was initially money wasted in the purchase of tools that were under-utilized and then, at the same time, we didn’t have enough of the equipment in the most demand.”
Six months after its founding, The Mill opened a retail space for the members to sell the various creations they made in the workspace to increase revenue for the Mill, but it was largely unsuccessful.
Boyle attempted to mitigate The Mill’s financial problems in January by instituting a waiting list for the equipment that was in high demand—mainly the laser cutter—but that wasn’t enough to solve the revenue problem.
When The Mill announced plans to close, it had 90 members. Until the warehouse closes near the end of the month, members will have the opportunity to quickly finish their projects and make arrangements to move their inventory elsewhere.