One year after Newton-based National Development unveiled plans to convert the former Boston Herald headquarters into a mixed-use complex, work is about to begin at the 6.6-acre site at the corner of Herald Street and Harrison Avenue.
The Boston Herald reports that an official groundbreaking ceremony was set for April 11, when Mayor Thomas M. Menino will remove a symbolic brick from the building and memories of the paper’s home for over 50 years in the South End neighborhood will be shared by Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald. The newspaper moved its offices to a new headquarters building in the growing Innovation District in Boston’s Seaport Center in 2012, when the property known as One Herald Square was shuttered.
Ink Block, as it has been named to reflect the newspaper’s presence at the site, was designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects. National Development—which acquired the site in 2007 from Herald publisher and owner Patrick J. Purcell—will invest $200 million in transforming the property into almost 550,000 square feet of housing and retail space. The project will create 250 to 450 construction jobs and almost 70 permanent jobs.
The development project calls for the demolition of most of the former Herald building and the construction of four new buildings of four to nine stories that will add 471 housing units to Boston’s rental market. The complex will also feature 411 parking spaces, as well as 85,000 square feet of street level retail space anchored by a Whole Foods store, restaurants and other shops meant to improve the pedestrian experience in the area.
As already reported by CityPages, Ink Block will also feature a fitness center, rooftop swimming pool, cyber lounge, bicycle storage, a shared-car service and electric-car charging stations. It is estimated that 15 percent of the units will be designed as affordable.