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FAQ

Got a question about the Innovation District? Below is a list of our Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Q: What is the Innovation District?
The Innovation District is the City of Boston’s initiative to transform 1000 acres of the South Boston waterfront into an urban environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship.

Want to know more about the Innovation District? Visit our About page.

Q: Where is it located? How big is it?
The Innovation District is located in the South Boston waterfront, and includes the Fort Point neighborhood, Seaport Square, Fan Pier, as well as the Marine Industrial Park. It encompasses 1,000 acres. View a map here.

Q: When was the Innovation District created?
The initiative supporting the Innovation District was created in 2010. Since the launch, it has added 5,000 new jobs and over 200 new companies.

Q: How do I access the Innovation District? What kind of transit is available?
The Innovation District is in close proximity to everywhere you need to be in Boston! It’s 10 minutes to downtown by car, T, or water taxi. Logan Airport is only 10 minutes away by car, and South Station is only steps away. Travel to Cambridge is only a 15 minute drive or a 15 minute T trip. There are 6 Hubway stations scattered throughout the Innovation District, and there are tons of Zipcars available for short trips. Want more information about getting around on or commuting to the waterfront? Check out the Seaport TMA. In August 2013, MassDOT announced that the South Boston Waterfront will be the focus of future transportation projects. Find out more here.

Q: I’m developing a start-up and need space to work. What kind of spaces are available?
You’ve come to the right place! Collaboration is key to the success of the Innovation District, which is home to many work space options. In fact, 40% of our new companies share space in co-working spaces and incubators. Space with Soul, HQ, and WorkBar are options for those looking to temporarily lease co-working space, and have access to a shared pool of amenities, like conference rooms, office supplies, and internet and tech connections. OuterSpaces provides listings for companies looking to lease a portion of their space for those looking for a dedicated desk in an office environment. Our Resources page has a full list of workspaces in the Innovation District.

Just in the area for a meeting? Need a casual place to sit and answer emails? We’ve got space for that, too! Stop by Factory 63, Barrington’s Coffee, Marriott Residence Inn on Congress, the Seaport Hotel, or District Hall.

Located at 75 Northern Avenue, District Hall is the world’s first free-standing public innovation center. District Hall provides great space for networking, events, working alone or with others, and even pop-up shops.

If you’re looking for more permanent space for your company, there are lots of office buildings in the area with longer term leases available. The City of Boston can provide support in your search for space, so reach out to us.

Q: I work in the Innovation District, and I’m looking for somewhere to live (with a short commute!) in the area. What kind of housing options are available?
Housing is incredibly important to making the Innovation District a 24-hour neighborhood. Currently, over 1,100 housing units are under construction. There will be a lot of variation in types of housing, including “innovation housing.” This new housing type focuses on helping residents make connections with each other: they emphasize shared common space, with units that have smaller private spaces but are connected to larger shared amenity spaces to foster a sense of community. Approximately 300 innovation units are currently approved, with more than 100 already under construction. Interested? Check out the innovation housing available for lease now at Factory 63. Other coming projects include housing developments at 100 Pier 4, 315 on A, Waterside Place, 399 Congress, and 381 Congress.

Q: My company isn’t in the tech sector. Is the Innovation District the right place for me?
Yes! The Innovation District is not limited to tech companies in any way. In fact, while tech companies have contributed 30% of new job growth, 11% of new companies are in education and nonprofits, 21% of new jobs are in creative industries like design and advertising, and 16% of new jobs are in the life science and green tech fields. The networking, collaboration, and sharing of ideas found in Boston’s Innovation District are beneficial to all companies, regardless of sector or scale. Not yet a big company? You’re not alone: 25% of our new companies operate with 10 employees or fewer.

Q: I’d like to host an event in the Innovation District. What do I need to do?
We think it’s great that you want to host an event in the Innovation District! We have an extremely engaged and interested community always looking to attend new events. There are few steps that may be helpful to follow in order to successfully plan your event:

1. Find a venue. If you don’t have one in mind, take a look at a list of potential venues on our Resources page.
2. Line up speakers! Whether it’s a panel, roundtable discussion, or a keynote, identify who you’d like to speak at your event, and reach out to them in advance.
3. Get food and coffee. It’s always a good idea to provide refreshments at events. For a list of local restaurants, caterers, and coffee shops, head on over to our Resources page.
4. Lots of outreach. Take advantage of your contacts, networking, and social media to publicize your event as much as possible. We can help with this, too. Just tweet some info at us @IDBoston, and we’ll share with our network.
5. If you have another questions or need help, feel free to contact us!

Q: Are there any fun things to do in the Innovation District?
Yes! The Innovation District isn’t just for work. The area is home to great restaurants, cultural amenities (like the ICA and the Boston Children’s Museum), concerts at the Bank of America Pavilion, tours at Harpoon brewery, and sailing at Fan Pier Marina. Still need more things to do? Check out the Boston’s New Waterfront calendar.

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