Wonderland, the arts collective that for 15 months had been in talks to turn the old Wonder Bread factory in Italian Village into a mixed-use creative space, has given up on its plan move into the building. Wonderland's executive director, Adam Brouillette, said that when the group's final offers were't accepted, Wonderland could no longer justify pursuing the purchase.
"We made the decision to start searching for other places … on Monday," Brouillette said.
He expressed disappointment about potentially not finding another location in the Short North/Italian Village area, but said there's a possibility they'll find another building nearby. Because the group values urban revitalization, he believes they'll seek a space that's close to Downtown.
The decision to abandon the Wonder Bread factory may actually expedite Wonderland's plans for a space. The group has been working with the IRS to obtain 501(c)3 nonprofit status, but Brouillette said the IRS continued to have questions that Wonderland was not yet able to answer. With a different location, the process of gaining nonprofit status could go more quickly.
"Essentially, we’ll control our own destiny at another location," Brouillette said. He says he's been pleased with how people have responded to the news. (Wonderland volunteers and major funders were told of the decision on Tuesday and Wednesday.)
"I've been very excited by the way the public has responded. People are offering us buildings in other neighborhoods."