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9 Awesome Things We Learned at the Ink Block Block Party

[Photos by Emma Anquillare]

It was a cold, clammy day in the South End on Thursday. But this didn't stop a group of politicians, investors, journalists and other notables from celebrating the groundbreaking for the new Ink Block development, while saying a tearful goodbye to the Boston Herald's old home.

Here are nine more things about one of the biggest developments in the South End in ages:

1. On top of that Whole Foods planned for the Ink Block, there will (literally) be a LEED-certified rooftop pool, one of only two in all of Boston (a seriously under-served need, if you ask us). And, who knows? On a clear day residents may even get a view of the world's second largest rooftop farm. How's that for environmentally friendly?

2. Pet owners who may have had a hard time finding Fido-friendly housing in the past need fear not. In addition to being pet-friendly (or at least we would assume so) the development will include it's own "Club K9" offering dog-grooming amenities.

3. There will also be a bicycle workshop, bike storage, a cafe, a bar, an "outdoor living room" (uh... you mean patio?), a fitness and yoga center, a roof deck, dining and entertainment space, conference rooms, underground parking, a chef's kitchen, a car detail center, and a spacious lawn with outdoor movies. You know, just the basic necessities in downtown Boston circa 2013.

4. The "B" and "H" from the old Herald logo were creatively painted by local graffiti artist Cyrille Conan, and will be on display in the new complex. The Ink Block will also house a Herald coffee mug that was rumored to have been left by a reporter leaving for a brief stint with another paper, and still in the exact same spot when he returned four years later. Bricks were up for grabs for those hoping to take a piece of the newspaper home with them forever. Finally, in cleverly keeping with the Ink Block theme (and hands down the best puns in all of real estate history) individual units will be referred to as "Ink Pads."

5. Speaking of the neighborhood, it quickly became clear that the Ink Block was much more than an apartment complex. The development hopes to become the new catalyst and "gravitational center" of a vibrant, round-the-clock "Life South-End Style" (Yes, that's the official catchphrase, though these days, of course, they're referring to gourmands, not gangsters). The space under the adjacent highway overpass is also due for a makeover.

6. When was the last time you heard about an apartment building causing a "social media buzz?" Or inviting local artists to paint a mural on the site? Or, not wanting to make a boring, traditional promotional video, hiring an independent film maker to best realize their "edgy and stylish" vision to match their "edgy and stylish" accommodations? (Again, the official description. And, yes, that's "Think Ink" graffiti in the video.) Then again, hard to not notice that the mural was covered by a giant banner during the ceremony. One point for the cynics after all?

7. Each "Block" of the five-building development will have its own distinct look and character to attract a different kind of demographic. Of the three going up in the immediate future, one is targeted toward the luxury market, the second is aimed at young professionals, and the third is a loft-style building for those seeking "a warm living space with South-End Style" (whatever that means).

8. Most importantly, we learned that this is certainly not the last we'll be hearing of Mayor Menino. He made it very clear in his speech that while he won't be cutting the Ink Block's ribbon two years from now, he's "transitioning, not retiring." Describing his advice and input on the project as "practice for the future," it seems Hizzoner will still be dedicated to seeing his vision of the city through, regardless of where his desk is. (Hint: It certainly won't be in academia.)

9. Referring to the careful process of making everyone happy when a new development comes to town, one of the speakers said that "Crisis is easier than progress when building in Boston." We already knew that. — Emma Anquillare
· Hey, Something Big Could Be Built in the South End! [Curbed Boston]
· Why the Hub Housing Market Could Get Worse, Much Worse [Curbed Boston]
· Our complete Ink Block coverage [Curbed Boston]


The Ink Block

Harrison Avenue and Herald Street, boston, Ma