This week, HBI’s Council of Advisors gathered for their spring meeting in Roslindale for to see the 1911 Roslindale Substation and explore the topic of urban entrepreneurship and revitalization with former State Treasurer Steve Grossman.
Restoration of the historic substation will begin this month by Peregrine Group LLC, developers of the mixed-use Parkside on Adams, a 43-unit apartment complex with destination restaurant in the Substation, operated by restaurateur Chris Douglass. Both Douglass and Peregrine’s principals Jordan Stone and Bev Gallo were present to welcome HBI’s visitors and explain their plans for the historic substation. They were joined by Bryan Reeves, Roslindale resident and operator of Craft Beer Cellar, a craft beer retail operation that will locate in the lower level of the Roslindale Substation after it is rehabilitated.
After a walk through Roslindale Village to the Sons of Italy hall on Birch Street, about 50 guests were treated to a reception and interactive talk given by former State Treasurer Steve Grossman, who is now CEO of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) in Boston. Grossman took the helm of ICIC this year and is focused on training entrepreneurs in cities across the United States for growth through coaching, technical training and access to capital. He specifically talked about a symposium for urban entrepreneurs he is designing for fall 2015 in Boston. Grossman’s presentation highlighted the relationship between strong small and growing urban entrepreneurs and the improvement of urban real estate like the Roslindale Substation.
There was no better place to illustrate that relationship than in Roslindale Village this week. Guests were greeted by representatives of Roslindale Village Main Streets and Historic Boston -- the team of entrepreneurial non profits that spawned the Substation’s comeback. And restaurateur Chris Douglass treated HBI’s guests to a selection of specially prepared small plates – a preview of Douglass’ forthcoming restaurant to occupy the main level of the revitalized Substation in early 2016.