South Boston MA Neighborhood
South Boston is Boston MA neighborhood located south and east of the Fort Point Channel and abutting Dorchester Bay. One of the oldest neighborhoods in the United States, South Boston is most popularly known as Southie. Southie is full of rich history and culture.
Once a predominantly working class Irish Catholic community, in recent years South Boston has become increasingly desirable among young professionals and families who are attracted to the neighborhood’s strong sense of community and quick access to downtown and public transportation.
South Boston contains Dorchester Heights, where George Washington forced British troops to evacuate during the American Revolutionary War. South Boston has undergone gentrification, and consequently, its real estate market has seen property values join the highest in the city. South Boston has also left its mark on history with Boston busing desegregation. South Boston is also home to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a celebration of the Irish-American culture and the Evacuation Day observance.
South Boston was traditionally an Irish working-class neighborhood ever since the Irish migrated to Boston due to the Great Famine that occurred in Ireland. Once a predominantly Irish Catholic community, in recent years South Boston has become increasingly desirable among young professionals and families who are attracted to the neighborhood’s strong sense of community and quick access to downtown and public transportation. South Boston has a population of about 33,311 and the median age is about 32.
South Boston has increasingly become an upscale residential area. The section of South Boston north of First Street has been targeted for massive redevelopment by the administration of Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). Initially referred to as the “Seaport District” by the BRA, this area was officially restyled the “South Boston Waterfront” after virulent protest from natives and local politicians, including City Council President James M. Kelly. However, it is still also referred to as the Seaport District as of 2012. The South Boston Waterfront area is part of the Port of Boston on Boston Harbor. While the area is not clearly defined, the Fort Point Channel forms one border and some parts of the area are also included in Fort Point neighborhood, an older, more historic term.
According to the Boston Waterfront Guide, the South Boston Waterfront has 55 restaurants, four hotels, and nine major attractions, and continues to grow. The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center straddles D Street. The Seaport Hotel and Seaport World Trade Center is located on Commonwealth Pier. A new home for the Institute of Contemporary Art hangs over Boston Harbor just north of Northern Avenue. The John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse is on Fan Pier. The South Boston Waterfront, in a massive renaissance, has exploded in recent years; considered “the hottest, fastest-growing real estate market in the country”, the Waterfront has seen an enormous construction boom. The “Innovation District,” as ex-mayor Tom Menino termed it, is now home to tens of new office towers, residential buildings, and “innovation labs” either proposed or under construction. As of September 2010, the Seaport Square project was also under planning. It was expected to cost $3 billion and replace parking lots between the federal courthouse and convention center with a 6,300,000-square-foot (590,000 m2) mixed-use development. Construction was expected to begin in 2011.
The Fallon Company is currently developing Boston’s Fan Pier, one of the most sought-after waterfront sites in the United States, and a catalyst for the revitalization of South Boston’s waterfront. Fan Pier is a nine-acre, 21 city block site which consisted largely of underutilized parking lots when the Fallon Company purchased it for $115 million in 2005. Today, it is a neighborhood consisting of four commercial towers – One Marina Park Drive, 11 Fan Pier Boulevard, 50 Northern Avenue, and 100 Northern Avenue – and a luxury condominium tower Twenty Two Liberty. A second residential building, Fifty Liberty, is currently under construction. Two more high-rise towers are planned. When complete in 2020, the $4 billion Fan Pier project will encompass three million square feet of commercial and residential real estate, public, civic and cultural space, including two parks and a 6-acre marina.
The Central Artery/Tunnel (CA/T) Project, also known as the “Big Dig”, has created a completely new transportation network for this area. The Silver Line of the MBTA provides public transportation to the area, and the Boston Harborwalk runs through it.
Due to the increase in nightlife in the neighborhood, on street parking for residents has become increasingly scarce. In response, city officials are launching a 90-day pilot program that will expand resident only parking to seven days a week, from four. The aim, according to City Council President Bill Linehan is to address the scarcity of parking for residents on weekends.
On January 13, 2016, it was announced that GE will be moving its corporate headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut to the South Boston Waterfront. Some of the workers will arrive in the summer of 2016 and the full move will be completed by 2018. GE ranks eighth on the Fortune 500 and will become the largest publicly traded company based in Massachusetts.