When Johns Hopkins students return next fall, they'll find a new space in Remington devoted to turning the seeds of their creative ideas—their inventions, startups, crafts, and robotics—into reality.
Across the street from the popular eatery R. House, a brand new innovation hub called FastForward U Homewood will feature a high-tech makerspace with tools for 3-D printing, laser-cutting, metalsmithing, and woodworking, in addition to various spaces for events and co-working.
Construction will wrap up up this summer to transform the former factory building at the corner of W. 29th Street and Remington Avenue, once known as "The Grey Ghost," into a 10,000-square-foot work and play space for Johns Hopkins. The hub is scheduled to open at the start of fall semester, offering 24/7 secure access to all JHU students.
"This will be an extracurricular space for all levels of exploration, from casual experimenters to seasoned entrepreneurs and inventors," says Brian Stansky, senior director of the FastForward program at Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures, which manages the new facility.
In addition to the dedicated 2,000-square-foot makerspace, run by the Whiting School of Engineering, the floor plan carves out spaces large and small for conferences, group meet-ups, and independent work. One open area has room for more than 100 movable seats, along with a large projector wall for video screenings and presentations. Another space will function as a café and lounge.
The new hub—which replaces former temporary space in the Wyman Park building—is among four FastForward hubs that Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures now operates, including the neighboring space in R. House and the FastForward 1812 incubator in East Baltimore.
FastForward U Homewood occupies the second floor of the once-abandoned factory building in Remington, which Stansky said was vacant until recently. Commercial tenants—the Twenty20 Cycling Co and a soon-to-arrive CrossFit studio—are on the ground floor.
The multimillion-dollar development, for which Johns Hopkins is teaming up with the Gensler architecture firm, adds to a now-bustling corner of Remington that includes the 11 food stalls in R. House and the retail and apartments of nearby Remington Row.