05 / 28 / 2021
  - 08:12:48 AM
Hopkinton Finalizes Agreement for Site of International Marathon Center
  

The Town of Hopkinton, MA announced today that it has signed a 99-year lease with the 26.2 Foundation, granting the nonprofit organization a 19-acre site on East Main Street in Hopkinton for the development and construction of an International Marathon Center (IMC). The site is located on Route 135 on the Boston Marathon route, less than two-thirds of a mile from the Marathon starting line.

First envisioned by the 26.2 Foundation more than a decade ago, the IMC will offer state-of-the-art educational and cultural facilities centered upon a marathon museum and hall of honor. The center will include conference facilities and an auditorium, as well as research space, classrooms and function rooms.

HealyKohler Design, of Washington, D.C., is currently developing a compelling, interactive visitor experience designed to maximize repeat visitation and sustainability, working to plans developed by Gorman Richardson Lewis Architects. The construction and management of the center will be privately funded, through individual, foundation and corporate philanthropy, and the 26.2 Foundation’s plans call for it to open in the spring of 2024.

The 26.2 Foundation was created 25 years ago to leverage the Boston Marathon for the economic, educational and cultural benefit of Hopkinton and surrounding towns. Its initiatives include civics, history and geography programs for the schools; sculpture projects that recognize Boston Marathon ‘greats’; and diverse international relations, such as the establishment of Hopkinton’s sister-city relationship with Marathon, Greece.

“The IMC will be a signature destination for runners the world over – a truly international venue designed to draw both U.S. and overseas visitors, like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York,” said Hopkinton Town Manager Norman Khumalo. “It will be of significant

importance to the economic growth and development not only of Hopkinton, but also to the entire MetroWest region,” he added.

“While the successful development of the 26.2 International Marathon Center has potential for socioeconomic benefits within Massachusetts as a whole, the locus of direct economic impact will center on Hopkinton and the region,” said Elena Kazlas of ConsultEcon, an economic planning and management firm that has conducted two separate feasibility studies of the proposed IMC over the last 10 years. “This project has the potential to create new business and employment opportunities in Hopkinton and will serve to expand Hopkinton’s and the Boston area’s profile as a tourism destination with a niche focus in marathoning,” Kazlas continued.

Over the next several years, more than $40 million will be invested in Hopkinton infrastructure, thanks to the combination of IMC development (more than $20m) and the town’s Main Street Corridor Project, now under way, which is designed to improve safety for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians, and reduce congestion in Hopkinton’s town center.

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