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Boston Gets Innovative in the Innovation District

More and more Bostonians are making their commute to work by foot or bike. I am one of those. Mostly because I fear I will accidentally run someone over if I drive and I really can’t have that happen on my watch. Also the MBTA fare hike that just took place kinda makes me wanna insert an angry emoticon. One of the reasons I love this city is because I can get just about everywhere without a car. At least when the weather’s acceptable. In 2010 Mayor Menino declared Boston was going to develop 1000 acres of waterfront property to increase more Jobs, housing and infrastructure, and thus the Innovation District was born.

The Innovation district was brought about to bring in innovative people (obviously) and business to increase Boston’s retention rate. Though Bean Town is booming with the creative, academic types, many of them were happily shipping themselves off to California (and honestly who can blame them with that weather) or somewhere out West to pursue their passions after having gotten started on the East. Think FaceBook founder (depending on who you ask) Mark Zuckerberg and friends. This is all part of Boston’s big ongoing resurrection we look towards the future and try to stay a few steps ahead. it’s a very optimistic sign that things are picking up and that we are moving in the right direction.

MassChallenge, a huge  27,000 square feet of office space at One Marina Park Drive started in the Innovation District  and brought lots of buzz to the area. The challenge is s start-up accelerator and was born in 2010. This Challenge features 125 finalist start-up companies who received grade A mentoring, training, free office space, access to media and funding and free biz flights courtesy of American Airlines ( the airline that started the whole charging per checked bag initiative…how very American).

It was quite a pleasant surprise to see South Boston‘s Waterfront go from a desolate area to a destination  bursting with activity and night life. Not only are new businesses popping up, but there’s a lot of other cool things happening in the district as well. There are noteworthy eateries, the very awesome Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) the Boston Tea Party Museum (just opened last month!) and the very posh Strega on the Waterfront to name a few

The Innovation District is going to be primarily for working people to let their ideas blossom. Bordering all this innovation is South Boston, which is where a lot of new Manhattan-style “micro-apartments” are scheduled to be built by architect ADD Inc (how extraordinarily appropriate). These apartments are designed to merely be places to sleep, instead of being luxurious sanctuaries where you can multitask and entertain, and  then never want to leave. The apartments are seemingly set up to get you out and about, encouraging the use of the city’s resources. It’s going to be designed so that you can live practically next door to where you work so you can roll out of bed and focus your energy on what drives you.

“A new approach is called for on the waterfront – one that is both more deliberate and more experimental…  The massive expanse of the South Boston waterfront, with its existing knowledge base, opportunity for growth, and world-class infrastructure is ripe to produce world-class products and services.”

-Mayor Thomas M. Menino

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