This summer, you’ll find us hanging underneath the southeast expressway. Before you judge and think we’ve hit skid row, know that the underpass is undergoing a major transformation. The homeless, abandoned cars and shopping carts, the needles, all gone! Replaced with parks, boardwalks, food trucks, public art, bike paths and parking – yes, parking!
The developer behind Ink Block, unveiled the details of Ink Underground on Wednesday. The new urban park will extend from Albany Street to For Point Channel and should be completed by May of this year. Not only will this project revitalize underutilized space it will also connect the two neighborhoods of Southie and the South End! Ink Underground is funded through a public private partnership between National Development and Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) InfraSpace program.
“As Boston continues to expand, creating innovative public realm and places for urban recreation are vital to its success,” said Ted Tye, Managing Partner, National Development. “Ink Underground will explore new ways to activate and program public spaces. Working alongside locally and internationally-recognized restaurateurs, corporate partners, vendors, artists and creators, this urban park will set a new standard for how to connect communities through culture and transportation.“
From the press release:
Visitors will enjoy amenities such as 24-hour security, a dog park, a curated series of pop-up food and beverage experiences, public art walls, sculpture exhibitions, and a diverse program of special events including a graffiti art festival, an artisan night market, fitness classes & much more. For the multi-modal traveler, Ink Underground offers a bike storage facility and 175 parking spaces directly opposite Ink Block and the new 205-room AC Hotel by Marriott at Ink Block.
A full schedule of Ink Underground 2017programs and events will be announced at the official opening in early June. Events currently scheduled for the park’s opening season include:
OFF THE WALL – A live graffiti & street art festival – Saturday, June 10th & Saturday, September 23th
We Love Local – A festival celebrating the champions of local entrepreneurship, Saturday, June 17th & Saturday, September 9th
NIGHT Market @ Ink Underground: – Boston’s first night market complete with shopping, street art, local musicians & DJs spinning today’s hottest house music, food, beverage & much more, Saturday, June 24th & Saturday, September 16th
“I’m excited to build this creative and unique opportunity with Ink Block and some of Boston’s most talented artists,” said Victor Quinonez, aka ‘Marka27’ Street Artist/Product Designer, Converse. “I believe together, we will build an energetic and passionate movement through Ink Underground. Boston will be proud of Ink Underground and provide an environment for communities from all walks of life can thrive in and enjoy.”
Ink Underground will open this spring after five years of planning, permitting, design, construction and leasing led by MassDOT in cooperation with the community, City of Boston, Boston Planning & Development Agency and the Federal Highway Administration. Through a public bid process, National Development, developer of Ink Block, was selected and has entered in to a long-term lease as operator of the park. Ink Block is a seven building mixed-use community that has revitalized the New York Streets area of the South End.
For more information about Ink Underground including opportunities for artisans, events, sponsors & more, please visit www.ink-underground.com.