Of all the changes the South End has endured this century, the building of Ink Block on the old Boston Herald site—hence the name — stands as among the most significant. For one thing, it’s a large parcel of land, around six acres, adding around 600 square feet of residential space, over four buildings: 1 Ink, 2 Ink, and 3 Ink house with 315 apartments; and Sepia, a condominium, brings another 83 homes to the area.
For another, it’s bought a Whole Foods Market to the neighborhood, and not just the South End neighborhood.
“I see people from my old neighborhood people shopping there,” says Ink Block’s Property Manager Jessica Ryan, who was previously based in Fort Point. “This Whole Foods serves Fort Point, South Boston, Chinatown, the Financial District, and the South End,” she says, probably underestimating its reach.
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Still, if demand for a good supermarket was high, it was also high for the condominiums, which are all sold, bar one. The apartments are almost 50% leased, too. Because each building is different, from funky to more conservative, Ink Block is attracting a wide demographic of renters, some of whom already live in the South End.
“It’s interesting, we had a lot of people looking who already live in the South End, in the old brownstones,” says Ryan, who is a Cape Cod native. “After the harsh winter, they were looking for modern amenities and cutting their heating bills.”
Next on the block, so to speak, is a 200 room AC Hotel by Marriott, which is due to open in 2017. It’s not too unusual a mix, as many hotels add residences, and Ink Block’s retail and restaurants will bring plenty of foot traffic. Plus, one benefit is for residents is having somewhere for guests to stay.
For all the changes it brings to the area though, Ink Block was designed to fit the South Ends low-rise vibe.
“This is such a warm neighborhood, architecturally. This building was designed to fit the scale of the South End. They didn’t build another high tower. Instead it’s a neighborhood block in an area of town that was pretty barren, and forgotten,” says Ryan.
Ink Block residents get 24/7 concierge, an expansive communal lounge with Wi-Fi, a projection TV, and workspace. Garage parking costs an extra $325 a month. The apartments in all three Ink buildings range in price from $2400 to $6000, and in size from 570 square foot studios to three bedrooms with 1400 square feet of living space. Sepia’s last condominium for sale is a 938 square foot two-bedroom, one-bath home, priced at $889,000. For more info: www.inkblockboston.com