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Developers, Brokers Trying to Make 'M Block' Happen

The 23 loft-style apartments in the renovated brick-and-beam 49 Melcher Street in South Boston's Fort Point are expected to be available this fall. They join other entrants along the street, including the 94,220-square-foot commercial building 51 Melcher; the 38-unit 63 Melcher, with its 27 innovation units; and the 140-seat French bistro called Bastille Kitchen in the lower levels of 49 Melcher. Consequently, developers and brokers are trying to make the nickname "M Block" stick.

The idea behind "M Block" (as in "Melcher," please tell us you got that) is a desire to denote the block as a hip, desirable place to live, work and play. "I look at [it] as potentially similar to the Meatpacking District in New York," Seth Greenberg, the restaurateur behind Bastille Kitchen, told The Herald's Donna Goodison. "It's got the same character with all the brick and beam buildings. It could be a really good mixed area with some residential [buildings] and really cool restaurants—just a new, modern city-driven neighborhood."

Right now, Melcher is but largely a side street in the Hub's otherwise hopping No. 1 neighborhood. The new campaign to turn it into the "M Block," though, draws not only from the ongoing debate over how to make the city hipper in the eyes of that all-important 18-to-35 demo, but the larger trends of transit-oriented development and, lest we ever forget, tech, tech, tech! Melcher's proximity to that great cure-all/catchall, the Innovation District, plays no small role in the campaign. It's not just that district's commercial vitality that the "M Block" partisans want to play off, but, according to one broker, the "the dynamic live-work-play energy of the Innovation District." It's on. Though we would caution that the Meatpacking District is trés, trés pricey, even for New York.
· Developers Dial 'M' for Melcher [Herald]
· Group Wanting to Make Boston Hip Loves Boston the Way It Is [Curbed Boston]
· Somerville's Downward-Facing Doghouse and Hub's Apt. Future [Curbed Boston]
· How to Talk About the Innovation District [Curbed Boston]
· The Curbed Cup Neighborhood of the Year: South Boston! [Curbed Boston]

[via Stuart Cahill in The Herald]

Innovation District

1 Marina Park Drive, Boston, MA 02101