Downtown Crossing could be THE hot new place, but…

c9f560816c7d10db2ed4ab459c66336d

City leaders agree that Downtown Crossing is on the verge of fully realizing its potential, which is why Suffolk University welcomed a panel of experts today to air thoughts on how the bustling district can transform into a new destination to live, work and let loose.

Panelists at this morning’s Building Boston 2030 tossed around suggestions like reducing panhandling, expanding public transportation to the area, refurbishing buildings, and encouraging businesses to stay open later.

“I think the opportunities in this district are as fantastic as anywhere,” said Howard Elkus, panelist and co-founder of Elkus Manfredi Architects.

Communication and collaboration with residents within the district is key to its expansion, according to Rosemarie Sansone, a panelist and President of the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District Corporation.

“One of the ways that we can screw up is if we don’t continue listening to them,” she said.  
In the last few years, the city has seen the revitalization of the district, with three historic theaters planting themselves on Washington Street, and the creation of more than 1,500 new jobs since 2008.
And that’s not all.

“Seven Hundred units of housing are under construction, and we have an active Business Improvement District that is committed to strengthening the neighborhood,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said of the district.  “With the addition of the $615 million Millenium Tower planned for the Filene’s site, this historic area is poised for a true renaissance.”

Shannon Emerson Finks, a partner at Petit Robert Central, a downtown bistro, is psyched the city is not only focusing on growing the district, but letting everyone in on their vision.

“I think this is great that they’re trying to rebuild the district. I’d love to see Downtown Crossing become more of a destination, especially at night,” Finks said.

Greg Selkoe, head of the grassroots organization Future Boston Alliance, which reduces restrictions on Hub bars, entertainment venues, and cultural organizations said of this morning’s forum:  “Any discussion or dialogue about this is great.  We think that Downtown Crossing is an incredible opportunity that has been missed in last 20 years in terms of what can happen there. I think we can finally start making real progress.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.