There are lots of ways that the Boston Innovation Center, now being built near the Institute of Contemporary Art, could turn into a high-profile misfire. Scheduled to open in the spring, the Innovation Center is supposed to be the central node of what Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has dubbed the Innovation District, a neighborhood encompassing the South Boston Waterfront, Fort Point Channel, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, and all those vast parking lots in the middle.
What could go awry? The Innovation Center’s location on Northern Avenue will be surrounded by noisy, dusty construction for its first few years of operation. The street doesn’t get much foot traffic. The building was cajoled into existence by Menino, part of negotiations to green-light the larger development that will surround it.