The construction of an International Marathon Center took a major step forward this week when the town of Hopkinton, MA announced that it had signed a 99-year lease with the 26.2 Foundation, granting the Foundation a 19-acre site on East Main Street for the IMC’s development. The site is located 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, following plans developed by Gorman Richardson Lewis Architects. The construction and management of the center will be privately funded, through individual, foundation and corporate philanthropy. The 26.2 Foundation’s plans call for it to open in the spring of 2024.
“We want to stress the platform that the marathon presents…to provide an example of the power of the human spirit,” said Kilduff, president of the 26.2 Foundation. “There’s more to a marathon than running 26.2 miles. Everyone running a marathon is making an expression of personal freedom.”
– The Boston Globe, May 26, 2021
“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. (Photo: Norman Khumalo, left, with 26.2 Foundation president Tim Kilduff, at lease signing.)
“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.
With the lease agreement finalized, the 26.2 Foundation is now engaged in the permitting process.