News & Updates

Mayor Menino Tours District Hall, City's First Innovation Center

May 23, 2013

This week Mayor Thomas M. Menino gave a full progress update on Boston’s innovation center, and revealed the name of the building under construction at 75 Northern Avenue on the South Boston Waterfront. District Hall will play a central role in the social infrastructure of the growing Innovation District and will serve as a home base for entrepreneurs to make connections, build relationships, and convene programs and events. [box] “Cities have long built infrastructure for travel and utilities,” Mayor Menino said. “But in a relationship-driven economy we’re building a new kind of infrastructure – a place to make connections and to build relationships.”[/box] The $5.5 million District Hall is the world’s first free-standing public innovation center. Tim Rowe, the CEO and founder of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), and his team at non-profit sister organization, the Venture Café, will oversee daily operations, events, and programming at the building. [box] “Vibrant communities of innovation, such as the one we are helping to build at District Hall, are fundamental to helping unleash and maximize the potential of individual creativity. We are honored that Mayor Menino invited us to be part of this public-private partnership that embodies the intrinsic belief that innovation is core to the health and continued renewal of our economy,” said Tim Rowe, Founder and CEO, Cambridge Innovation Center. “This novel approach to promoting and fostering collaboration to create new solutions, new businesses and new industries will only further the City of Boston’s role as a global leader in solving the world’s greatest challenges through innovation.”[/box] The Mayor and Tim also announced some early activities and partnerships that will take place in District Hall this summer, including Mobile Monday Boston, the largest gathering of startups and entrepreneur in the mobile technology space; LearnLaunchX, a series of meetups for startups working on the educational technology space; and Boston Startup Institute, an entrepreneurship training program for high school students. In total, more than 50 groups and organizations have inquired about using the space. The one-story, 12,000 square foot building includes 9,000 square feet of space that will be outfitted with vital assets to innovation companies, like modular meeting and event spaces, and short term space for start-up labs. District Hall will also include a 3,000 square foot restaurant and test kitchen to be operated by The Briar Group. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is slated to open in fall 2013. District Hall will open in mid-June with limited programming through the summer, ramping up for a large launch and full opening event this fall. The building’s development team includes Boston Global Investors and Morgan Stanley, contractor John Moriarty & Associates, and architect Hacin & Associates. [gallery ids="10994,10995,10996"]

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