Upham's Corner Arts and Innovation District
The Upham’s Corner implementation process builds on goals established by the community. These are outlined in both Imagine Boston 2030 and the Upham’s Corner Station Area Plan of the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative. The process focuses on putting those plans into effect by developing strategic parcels in the neighborhood.
In March 2022, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the site located at 555-559 Columbia Road. This proposal moves forward on the implementation of Imagine Boston 2030, and the creation of the Upham’s Corner Arts and Innovation District. This RFP seeks a redeveloper for the 19,000-square-foot site to deliver:
- affordable housing and commercial space, and
- community space anticipated to serve as the location for the Upham’s Corner branch library.
We're committed to working closely with community partners. We want to promote economic growth without displacement.
We're investing in affordable housing and commercial space along the Fairmount Indigo corridor. Our goal is to prevent gentrification.
Upham’s Corner is a revitalized commercial, cultural, and community center. It is a celebration of diversity. It's also an arts and cultural anchor of the Fairmount Indigo Corridor.
Upham’s Corner has been consistently identified as an arts and culture destination. Previous planning initiatives laid important groundwork for establishing an Arts and Innovation District.
The Upham’s Corner Arts and Innovation District is based on the belief that we can create sustainable opportunities for local residents and businesses. We can do this by empowering the entrepreneurial talent that exists in the neighborhood.
Upham’s Corner is a hub of creative activity. It's enabled, in part, by the physical assets that exist in close proximity to each other. These include:
- the historic Strand Theatre
- the Upham’s Corner Branch Library, and
- the small businesses supported by Upham’s Corner Main Streets.
Economic development is anchored by cultural uses that are enhanced and expanded. We want to provide:
- local residents
- entrepreneurs and small businesses, and
- artists with the housing, venues, public amenities, and resources needed to collaborate and thrive.
Investments, both public and private, are made strategically. They should be made in response to the robust planning efforts that have led to the designation of this District. They should also support the ethnic and economic diversity of the community.
Committed, collaborative partnerships come together. We want to engage in creative problem-solving for the future of the neighborhood.
We recognize that entrepreneurship and innovation come in many forms. The Upham’s Corner Arts and Innovation District will be designed as a hub of creativity. Our goal is to bolster collaboration among:
- local residents
- entrepreneurs, and
Working Advisory Group
The Working Advisory Group is a City-appointed advisory group. It includes:
- residents and business owners,
- advocates, and
- other community leaders.
These members have been meeting regularly. They help shape the content of public meetings and review community feedback. Several members of the group participated in previous planning initiatives. Those members offer continuity to the process, connecting planning with implementation.
The Working Advisory Group meetings are currently on hold. We will post meeting details here when they resume.
Upham's Corner implementation timeline
Learn more about the timeline for the district:
Request for Information
In July 2019, the City released a Request for Information (RFI) about the development of a planned Upham's Corner Arts and Innovation District. We asked potential partners to share their ideas with us. You can read all 18 of the responses to the RFI below. Find out what we've learned so far, and what's next for Upham's Corner.
Request for Proposals
In September 2021, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) released the first of two Requests for Proposals (RFP). These proposals:
- move forward on the implementation of Imagine Boston 2030, and
- the creation of the Upham’s Corner Arts and Innovation District.
This RFP seeks a redeveloper for the 19,000-square-foot site to deliver:
- affordable housing and commercial space
- community space anticipated to serve as the location for the Upham’s Corner branch library, and
- designate an operator for the Strand Theatre.
The Strand Theatre
The Strand is a cultural and educational cornerstone of Upham's Corner.