The city's new innovation center, now called District Hall, will partially open next month in an area that city leaders hope will foster the next big idea.
Mayor Thomas Menino took a tour Wednesday morning of District Hall, located in the Fort Point area now referred to as the Innovation District. The one-story, 12,000-square-foot building will be equipped with modular meeting and event spaces and short term space for start-up labs. The building was built with the purpose of serving as an open space and home base for entrepreneurs to make connections, build relationships, hold programs and events and "just hang out and start companies," city officials said.
The Hall will open in mid-June with events like Mobile Monday Boston, a large gathering of startups and entrepreneurs in the mobile technology space, and LearnLaunchX, a series of meetups for start-ups working on educational technology. About 275 people are expected to visit the Hall on an average Thursday.
The Hall "is now going to be ... one of the most important centers of activity in Boston," said Tim Rowe, the founder of the Cambridge Innovation Center, who along with non-profit the Venture Cafe, will oversee its daily operations.
The city touts the $5.5 million is expected to fully open in the fall.
"Boston has many important halls - Faneuil Hall, Symphony Hall, many other ones - these places where people come together, inspire us, help us forward. I believe District Hall will follow in that great tradition and be home to some very special achievements and breakthroughs," Menino said.
When asked about rising rent costs in the area that are pricing some businesses out, Menino said it's because of the success the city has had in revitalizing the area. He said that there would be an abundance of space online soon, pointing to the various buildings currently under construction in the area.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.