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Boston's 'Innovation District' Eagerly Awaits More Innovators

Over the last two years, blocks of old, brick factories and warehouses have been converted into hip working spaces
Over the last two years, blocks of old, brick factories and warehouses have been converted into hip working spacesPhotographs by Venessa Wong

Boston’s Innovation District? Nope, never heard of it, an MBA student in Boston told me. It’s right over Fort Point Channel. Oh, the Seaport District. I thought that was just the sh-tty part of town. At a café in the Innovation District I asked a barista if she knew what it was. No response. Her colleague chimed in with information about the district’s geography. Really? She was standing in the middle of it.

Over the last two years, blocks of old, brick factories and warehouses have been converted into hip working spaces by hundreds of entrepreneurs in the district—which covers roughly 1,000 acres on the South Boston Waterfront. Restaurants and bars including Legal Seafood and Del Frisco’s recently opened there. New residential buildings, including a 14-story tower called Watermark Seaport, are planned. An Innovation Center, a 12,000-square-foot indoor “public space,” will open this year. Even if the area hasn’t completely shaken its reputation as a sh— … lackluster part of town, the wave of development under way seems destined to change this quickly.

Photographs by Venessa Wong