HYM Investment Group to Break Ground on 161-Acre Mixed-Use Redevelopment of Suffolk Downs Racetrack in Boston
BOSTON — HYM Investment Group has received approval from the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) for the redevelopment of Suffolk Downs, a 161-acre former thoroughbred horse track and racing facility, into a mixed-use district. Approved plans for the project include 10,000 residential units, 20 percent of which will be designated affordable housing; 40 acres of publicly accessible parks and open space; and 3 million square feet of office and retail space.
HYM purchased the property in 2017 for $155 million and the racetrack officially closed in summer 2018. Thursday’s vote of approval marks the end of a three-year community review process, during which the company held over 450 meetings with community group members, elected officials and staff, and neighbors to hear and incorporate community feedback.
HYM is now cleared to begin construction on the project, which might take up to 20 years to complete and will cost $8 billion, according to reports by WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.
Designs for the project also include the construction of a major extension of the Mary Ellen Welch Greenway, a public pathway and park in East Boston connecting Piers Park, Memorial Stadium, Bremen Street Park, Wood Island Bay Marsh and Belle Isle Marsh.
HYM has committed $20 million in funding for public transit improvements in East Boston and Revere, including Blue Line subway enhancements, upgrades to Beachmont Station, the reconstruction of Suffolk Downs Station and Better Bus improvements. The company has also committed $41 million in funding for Route 1A upgrades and intersection improvements, and will fund the annual operating costs of an additional Blue Line train for 15 years.
Earlier this year, HYM and general contractor John Moriarty & Associates signed a project labor agreement to ensure the project will be union-built — creating over 14,000 construction jobs — and committed $2 million to programs aimed at increasing representation in the building trades by strengthening the pipeline for more women and people of color to access union careers and other workforce development initiatives.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to create a new neighborhood from the ground up and for Suffolk Downs to serve as a model of how to thoughtfully design a modern development with climate resiliency, transit access, housing and public space in mind,” says Thomas O’Brien, founding partner and managing director of HYM. “We look forward to moving ahead towards building a new future at Suffolk Downs, creating housing, improved transit and jobs for residents and the greater Boston community.”
In total, the development is estimated to create 18,810 new construction jobs and 22,000 permanent jobs upon completion.
— Katie Sloan