In New York, they went with FiDi (get it?). A bevy of commercial real estate brokers says that Boston needs to rebrand and revamp the Financial District if the city wants it to recover faster from the Great Recession. Apparently, it's lagging other financial districts nationwide. Why? Because, per Jerry Kronenberg in The Herald, "businesses want offices near restaurants, shops and housing that will attract workers." The Financial District doesn't have that. Back Bay and the Seaport do, and they're doing better, especially the Seaport. It became the Innovation District in 2010, et voila!
Advertised rents for “Class-A” Seaport office space shot up from 44 percent below Financial District levels in 2007 to 4.7 percent above the Financial District’s prices in 2011, the executives said. “When you look at the Seaport District and the way it was branded ‘The Innovation District’ — not for nothing, but what’s so innovative about that area?” [Cushman & Wakefield's David] Martel said.
Amen to that sentiment. But would the same thing work in the Financial District? Slap on a name, spread the good word, and let the recovery roll on in? Probably not, say the brokers (and say us). It would need apartments, micro or otherwise; retail; a nightlife; everything that's supposed to make Boston in general more appealing to the young people—the city's single, most pressing issue. “All of the 20-somethings want live-work-play spaces—[and] so do the empty-nesters,” Cushman New England President Robert Griffin Jr. said.
· Rebrand the District [Herald]
· How to Talk About the Innovation District [Curbed Boston]
· South Boston to Get Hundreds of Manhattan Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· Group Wanting to Make Boston Hip Loves Boston the Way It Is [Curbed Boston]