USA Today has nominated Boston’s South End district – SoWa – as one of America’s best art districts alongside 19 other communities including places like Chelsea-NYC, Warehouse District-NOLA and Station North-Baltimore.
Vote Boston’s SoWa District as America’s best art district
Help raise the profile of SoWa and click on the link above. At the bottom of the page select “Vote”. It would be wonderful to have SoWa recognized. This one-time derelict neighborhood, better known for burnt out buildings and crime is now one of my favorite parts of Boston.
Voting ends at 12PM on Monday, March 2, 2015. Help me spread the word by sharing with friends through your preferred social media channels.
NOTE: You can vote once per day so bookmark the page and return often.
46 Wareham Street South End
According to the Boston Courant, a new plan has been filed for 46 Wareham, a building in the South End that the Holland Companies would like to renovate and develop. This past summer the Holland Companies suggested modernizing the under utilized structure to create a 6-story, 42 residential unit building that would include ground floor space for a commercial unit. Opposition from some community activists who did not want to lose the commercial space and pointed to zoning laws that supported their arguments forced the developers to go back to the drawing board.
The Holland Companies hopes their revised proposal addresses the zoning concerns by reducing the number of residential units to 36 and increasing the commercial space by making the first two levels of the building available for commercial use (some 20,000 square feet). The developers feel that the long term viability of this project hinges on it being a mixed use development.
Last week the Ink Block announced that a new Capital One 360 Bank and Cafe would be opening soon to which I tweeted in response: The fact that Capital One has concluded (ahead of much of their competition) that banks are not exactly loved by everyone so they’ve started including coffee shops is a smart marketing move on their part but it is hard for me to cheer for another bank to open – even if that section of the neighborhood is underserved.
So I’d like to champion the news that a coffee shop, CUPPACOFFEE, (without the added baggage of a bank) will be opening in the Troy at 55 Traveler Street possibly as early as mid March. CUPPACOFFEE is an Australian coffee house which means they will also sell Aussie foods like meat pies, lamingtons, anzac cookies and other treats.
It appears as if Whole Foods at the Ink Block in the South End will be open for business starting Friday, January 9th at 10:00 AM. Local chefs will be making appearances the opening weekend including the likes of Joanne Chang-Myers.
Parking is available at the new grocery store and tours are even available this week to get a sneak peek at the newest (and largest) Whole Foods to open in Boston. You can follow them on Twitter for more updates @WFM_SouthEnd.
Despite the fact that I’m currently in Brazil, friendly tips from readers continue to help me keep you posted about life in the South End. Just as I was the first to share with you news about BoMA’s closing earlier this year, I’m happy to be the first to let you know the Elephant Walk South End quietly opened their doors for business this past Sunday evening. News of their opening came to me from two readers, Dave & Owings, who happened to be walking by the restaurant Sunday evening.
While the restaurant has not noted the opening on their website or facebook, and they are not taking reservations on Opentable.com yet, look for these updates in the days that follow. I will be in Brazil through the holidays so at this point I have no further details to offer, but if you do check out Elephant Walk let me know your thoughts about the décor, menu and food.
Congratulations to the owners of Elephant Walk. I want to welcome them to the neighborhood and wish them much success.
Elephant Walk – 1415 Washington Street – (617) 247-1500
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Ted Tye, Managing Partner at National Development, the firm behind the South End’s Ink Block. In their temporary office across from the Ink Block, he showed me their plans for the new development and hinted at more news to share after the new year.
Ink 1 & 2 will open Feb 1, 2015 and are offering 1 month free rent for all 1 year leases and 6 weeks free rent for all 18 month leases.
Whole Foods is scheduled to open in just a few weeks but Ted was mum about giving an exact opening date in January. Don’t worry about the bad weather since 100+ parking spots are reserved for the store. In addition the Ink Block will offer cool amenities including: underground connectivity to Whole Foods so one needn’t go outside in bad weather; a new gym; pool and outdoor function space to enjoy and host parties. Also look for a new Hubway station and parking for a couple of ZipCars.
When speaking to the team at National Development they were keen to impress upon me their desire to leverage their commercial space for new restaurants (non-chains) that can provide more affordable dining options. They want restaurants because they would like to have tenants that will be open after normal business hours to avoid having the block go dark and to encourage more pedestrian traffic.
The annual SoWa Holiday Market is Dec 13 &14th. Never mind the fact that it is not in SoWa – perhaps they should rename this the South End Holiday Market?
If you like arts & crafts this is the place to be. The craft fair opens at 11 a.m. both days closing at 6 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Expect to find an array of indie goods, including: handbags, jewelry, pottery, letterpress stationery, silk-screened t-shirts, baby clothes, re-purposed wool accessories and more.
The SoWa Holiday Market is in the Benjamin Franklin Institute, at 41 Berkeley Street. Admission is $5. More information about the Holiday Market can be found on their website, www.sowaholidaymarket.net.