Last week GTI Properties in the South End issued a press release, sharing plans for the Power Station which opened in 1896 but fell into disrepair in the last century as the neighborhood and much of downtown Boston languished. However, in recent years, it has served as a parking garage and on occasion as a special event venue like my photo from Illuminus Boston in 2014 shows.
After the SoWa Winter Festival concludes renovations are expected to commence, converting this historic building into an open-concept event space, providing the South End (and Boston) with one of the coolest places to host an event. The renovations, which will start in mid December, will retain all the elements that give the building its charm – the vaulted ceilings, massive windows and “the industrial brick and beam glamour”. The renovations will bring additional comforts like bathrooms, heat, running water and more.
With ample parking available, its proximity to both I-93 and the Mass Pike and just a short 10 minute walk from the Orange and Red lines on the MBTA, one can expect this will become a popular venue for many events so stay tuned. As I learn more details, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
Developers behind one of the largest new residential projects in Boston—a 650-unit apartment complex spread out over more than 3 acres of land between Albany Street and extending to Harrison Avenue officially broke ground and started construction last week on September 18th.
Formerly known as the Harrison/Albany project and now called The Smith , this development will include: 650 residential apartments; approximately 75,000 square feet of new and renovated office space; nearly 20,000 square feet of retail and cultural space; up to as many as 650 below ground parking spaces; as well as open space available to the public.
The Boston Sun reported the amount of development allowed along the Harrison-Albany Corridor in the South End has far exceeded what had been planned, and it is forcing them to revisit the traffic and infrastructure models put into place in 2012.
The Quinzani’s project, the Harrison Albany Project and the 345 Harrison project (which is now open) were all projects that took the City by surprise. Those projects combined, resulted in 32% more development than had been anticipated in 2012, and account for approximately 1,900 new apartment / condominium units. The crazy thing is that figure doesn’t even include the 250 unit building that the Ink Block announced earlier this month called The Ollie on the corner of Albany and Herald Street. That is a lot of development for what essentially is a 6 block corridor at the edge of the South End.
7INK by Ollie is a 14-story residential building that developers are saying will include 250 shared suites and micro-studios. Scheduled to open in 2020, Ollie will be Boston’s first all inclusive, co-living development. Ollie will be located at the corner of Herald and Albany Streets on the former site of the Independent Taxi Operators Association building in the north east corner of the Ink Block.
The building will provide a full range of services, unique community engagements and shared amenity spaces. The development will have additional perks such as coming furnished and receiving complimentary weekly cleaning with fresh linens and towels as well as bath amenities.
For more information about the new residential building proposed by National Development visit their website at, ollie.co/boston.
By Evan Rosenberg || 450 Harrison Avenue – Artist Studio #307A
This weekend celebrate and explore Boston’s most vibrant arts community at the Annual SoWa Art Walk. Make the most of this two-day event on your own, with friends or even as a date – it’s free to peruse and makes for a great opportunity to see Boston’s creative economy up close. Perhaps the best date option is perusing studios and galleries this Friday as part of “First Fridays” where each month artist studios and galleries welcome people from 5 – 9PM.
I’d also like to give my friend and Boston-area artist, Evan Rosenberg a shout out and encourage you to stop by and visit his debut showing from his current series, Therapy, which will be at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery’s 450 Harrison Ave showroom on the 3rd floor in studio #307A.
Did you know the SoWa Art & Design District has more than 300 working artists studios, and is the largest concentration of contemporary art galleries in the city? Plan on coming out either Friday evening for First Fridays or for the SoWa Art Walk on Saturday and Sunday.
SoWa Open Market returns on Sunday, May 6, 2018
In four weeks the SoWa Open Market 15th season will open and this year the organizers have announced a new beer hall and taproom, housed in the iconic SoWa Power Station will be a part of the market every Sunday, from May 6 through October 28, 2018. Partnering with the Craft Collective, more than 60 curated “adult beverages” from local breweries will be featured in this year’s “SoWa Beer Barn”. In addition to great beer, there will also be lawn games, live music, yoga classes, and lots of food trucks.
In addition to the new beer hall and food trucks located by the Gaslight parking lot, further up the street the Market will host their weekly farmer’s market as well and continue to feature artisans every Sunday, May 6 – October 28, 2018 from 10 AM – 4 PM.
More information about the SoWa Open Market
It is hard to say which restaurant will be the first to open in Boston’s South End in 2018 but it is interesting that two contenders are restaurants that focus on cuisine south of the Mason-Dixon line, Southern Proper and Bootleg Special.
While Boston has an Italian or French restaurant on what seems like every corner, the city has relatively few restaurants that seek inspiration from the South and even fewer that do it well.Chef Jason Cheek will be opening his restaurant, Southern Proper, at 600 Harrison Avenue in The Girard relatively soon, considering the space has signs saying “Opening Winter 2018”. The new space will include more than 1,500 square feet of dining, bar space and patio seating.
If Cheek’s name rings a bell it might be because he has a distinguished career working at several excellent restaurants including The Maiden, Sam’s at Louis, Coppa and Toro to name just a few.
A restaurant that looking to open even before Southern Proper is the traditional style Louisiana seafood boil, called Bootleg Special, owned by the former Castle Square resident, Stephen Chan. The restaurant’s menu will include items like crawfish poutine, po’boys and beignets.
Southern Proper hopes to get a live music license, which I hope they can get – this city needs more places that offer live music – not fewer and their location on the corner of Tremont and Herald Street means there are very few residents who could / should be impacted.
It is interesting to note that both of these restaurants constitute new space for the South End, adding to the dizzying number of new restaurants that have opened in this tiny downtown neighborhood.
In the case of Southern Proper, it is going into a new mixed-use residential space that previously was a parking lot in SoWa and in the case of Bootleg Special, to my knowledge the space was never a restaurant; previously it had been a dog daycare center.