What gives a public space that ‘neighborhood’ feeling? Is it community art? Is it a place to sit and read? Is it a cluster of bustling bars and restaurants? When real-estate investment firm, Jamestown took over Boston MA’s Innovation and Design Building in 2015, they asked some similar questions. IDB was originally built as a storehouse for the South Boston Army Base. Now it acts as a home base for commercial tenants including architects, engineers, tech companies, research and development firms, craftspeople, and showrooms.
Even though the area was in an exciting boom and filled with potential, the neighborhood still felt cold, inaccessible, and a little bit boring. So, Jamestown decided to overhaul the entire Innovation and Design Building including new and better lighting, renovations, over 300 bike racks, 16 new showrooms, and replacing a significant number of windows.
As part of the $100-million renovation project, they decided to commission shipping container kiosks for restaurants and retail to be located between 19 and 25 Drydock Avenue. Each container measures 9’6” high, 20′ long and 8′ wide – about 160 square feet total. And in the end, the containers arrived at the site ready for each vendor to set up and personalize their own individual spaces. Because of the small footprint, many of the restaurant tenants used this unique opportunity to experiment with “low-prep” menus and offer items like sandwiches, soups, and salads.
Some vendors have moved on since the original 8 businesses had their start in the micro-commercial spaces. But new concepts including Munch and Farmacy have put down roots in the container space and are providing refreshments and entertainment for the IBD community to work and play. Our entire team looks back on this project with pride and excitement for what’s to come in these incubator spaces!
Click the links to view photographs of the local businesses working from our custom shipping container concepts
Cut-Splice: Hair Salon
Munch: Restaurant offering playful food and elevated street eats
Triangle Coffee: Coffee Shop with special attention to creating a positive impact in rural communities that produce high-quality coffee beans.
Jubali Farmacy: Serving organic meals, superfood smoothies, and snacks while supporting local farms.
Fare Well: Sourcing ingredients from New England farmers and makers to provide hearty food including salads and grain bowls.
Yankee Lobster: A family-run restaurant that’s specializing in New England lobster and other sea fares.