Transformation of Innovation District and South End
Dec 13, 2012
Construction Management Association (CMAA), an organization promoting professionalism and excellence in managing development and construction of projects and programs, heard Deputy Director of Waterfront Planning, Rich McGuinness, describe the great progress that is being made in the Innovation District. This week's presentation highlighted the twenty years of planning that have resulted in the building boom currently underway in the South Boston Waterfront, including projects under construction and those projects that are pending.
[caption id="attachment_9402" align="aligncenter" width="705"] Public Innovation Center under construction in foreground, Vertex Pharmaceuticals HQs under construction in background[/caption] Blackstone/Franklin Square Neighborhood Association, a non-profit organization committed to enhancing the quality of life in Blackstone and Franklin Squares, heard Deputy Director of Community Planning, Randi Lathrop,describe the transformation of Washington Street in the South End. In 1995, the Mayor appointed the Washington Street Task Force to encourage investment, redevelopment, and revitalization along a 1.5 mile stretch of Washington Street, resulting in new zoning and the redevelopment of land parcels for ground-floor retail and housing. As of 2012 along Washington Street, 1,900 new or rehabbed residential units have come online, 250,000 SF of new retail has opened, and 1,500 new parking spaces have been created. In 2007, Washington Street received the American Planning Association's Great Places in America Award for being one of the 10 best streets in the U.S. Continuing the transformation, it's anticipated that 275 Albany Street and Ink Block will break ground in 2013 creating more residential units and retail opportunity.
The Innovation District is fast growing into the vision of a place to live, work, and play. There are currently 1,101 units of housing under construction, all of which broke ground in 2012. In addition the nation's first public innovation center is on track to open in spring 2013, and the nation's largest private construction project, the future headquarters of Vertex Pharmaceuticals
, is under construction in the district.