Seaport Square to Enhance City’s Innovation District with New Innovation Center, 23-Acre Mixed-Use Sustainable Neighborhood
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced that Seaport Square $3 Billion master plan will be the latest and largest addition so far to Boston’s Innovation District. With the district already home to a growing array of creative and entrepreneurial companies, the City is pushing the development community to be bold and creative to ensure that Boston stays at the forefront of the innovation economy in the 21st century. This 6.3 million square foot project will be Boston’s largest development in history, signaling the strength of Boston’s economy and continued investment in the city. “Seaport Square has embraced the challenge of the Innovation District — to be bold, creative and keep our economy growing. Together, we are creating a unique, diverse and entrepreneurial neighborhood that will help Boston attract and retain new industries and the city’s young, talented workforce, ” said Mayor Menino.
As a new 23-acre mixed-use sustainable neighborhood containing approximately 6.3 million square feet of residential, retail, office, hotel, innovation, civic and cultural uses, the project will support and enhance the South Boston Waterfront, Boston’s Innovation District. Seaport Square includes the construction of an Innovation Center in 2011 which will foster interactions and an exchange of knowledge to emerging businesses, creating new jobs for Boston residents, and housing for companies creating innovative products and services. This new innovation center will allow for small firms to generate ideas and intermingle with larger firms, already located in the Innovation District, who have the access to capital and the ability to scale and grow those ideas. In addition to the Innovation Center, the project has dedicated 20% of the non-residential buildout to innovation space.
The addition of Seaport Square builds upon an impressive cluster that is already present in the Innovation District, including: MassChallenge, which is running a start-up competition from Fan Pier’s One Marina Park Drive office building; Thomson Reuters, a leading innovative information technology group that employs 2,000 people in the Fort Point Channel; a number of cutting-edge companies within the Boston Marine Industrial Park – Artaic, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Next Step Living, and Ginkgo BioWorks; and the recent approval of Waterside Place, which includes the creation of a 14,000 square-foot Innovation Center that will provide office/flex/IT rack space for small entrepreneurial and developing companies.
Seaport Square includes the creation of 20 new urban blocks with 22 new buildings that will house approximately 6.3 million square feet of residential, retail, office, innovation, hotel, civic and cultural uses. Several new parks, plazas and pedestrian ways will be created as a part of the project, including an active recreation park slated to begin construction in 2011.
The project’s residential component includes the creation of 2,500 for sale and rental homes, including 325 affordable units as well as the 325 innovative workforce housing units. The workforce housing units are intended for people whose income is too high to qualify for the restricted affordable housing units but who are often priced out of the housing market, and include types of housing that will attract new economy employers to the district, including co-housing and/or live-work housing.
All told, the project is expected to create approximately 10,000 construction jobs and approximately 20,000 permanent jobs. The permanent jobs will be created through the retail stores, office and research uses, hotels, and services related to the residential uses. The project is also expected to generate approximately $35 million in annual property taxes, approximately $31 million in annual sales taxes as well as approximately $3.5 million in state hotel occupancy tax, approximately $3.7 million in local occupancy tax, and approximately $1.7 million toward the convention center financing fee. Additionally, the project is expected to generate approximately $32 million in housing and jobs linkage funds to the City of Boston.