Admirer, MA Mayor Brian Arrigo, along with local and Boston city officials, joined executives from The HYM Investment Group (HYM), Cathexis and National Real Estate Advisors (National) to break ground on the former racetrack site at Suffolk Downs.
The event marks the beginning of the transformation of the unused 161-acre site into a neighborhood and mixed-use community. The Suffolk Downs development, spanning two cities, is one of the largest real estate projects in Massachusetts history and will ultimately comprise a 16.2 million s/f development, including 10,000 apartments and condominiums, 5.2 million s/f f of life science and commercial office space, 450,000 s/f retail and administrative space and 40 acres of parks and open space.
The project will ultimately deliver the largest single housing creation by redevelopment project in Boston’s history. The groundbreaking also marks the official start of a joint venture partnership between National and HYM for the initial residential components of the redevelopment. National’s equity interest in the project will enable the delivery of nearly 4 million square feet of living space, or 4,200 units, to be built at Suffolk Downs over the next eight years.
Breaking ground on a new life science building and a new residential building is just the beginning of the first phase of this historic project. 100 Salt St., a 280,000 s/f life sciences laboratory and biomanufacturing facility adjacent to MBTA Beachmont Station, will be the first purpose-built, large-scale laboratory and biomanufacturing space in the city and provide the community with access to thousands of permanent positions in of the Massachusetts life sciences industry. The 100 Salt St. Life Sciences building has two floors suitable for biomanufacturing in addition to its Life Sciences labs, which offer a Life Sciences tenant a unique advantage by allowing them to manufacture pharmaceutical drugs in small batches in the same room as their corporate headquarters. Additionally, 100 Salt St. has retail and restaurant space on the ground floor. Amaya, a 475-unit apartment building, is the first of several residential developments planned for Suffolk Downs. The building will feature 34,000 sqm of amenities, 24,000 sqm of retail space on the ground floor and a mix of different unit types ranging from micro studios to two bedroom apartments.
100 Salt St., designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, will be completed by the end of 2023, with tenants expected to move in during 2024. Amaya, designed by ICON Architecture, will complete construction in Q2 2024 if residents move in at that time.
This new mixed-use district will attract employers from growing industries and create a truly dynamic living and working environment for residents of Revere and East Boston. The redevelopment at Suffolk Downs is expected to create 22,000 new permanent jobs through laboratory, manufacturing and retail space and over 18,000 new construction jobs over the next two decades. Through an unprecedented Project Labor Agreement (PLA) ensuring this project is unionized, a $2 million fund has been established to specifically prepare local residents to join the future workforce at Suffolk Downs and several important provisions related to Equality and inclusion policies that do this will bring more women and people of color into the craft.
“The groundbreaking at Suffolk Downs marks an exciting new chapter for Revere’s economic development,” said Mayor Arrigo. “Suffolk Downs will create a new commercial cluster connecting Revere residents to the jobs of the future; We are excited to finally be an active participant in the booming life sciences ecosystem.”
“Today we celebrate the power of teamwork and a new chapter for Suffolk Downs. Together with the communities of Revere and East Boston, we are creating a new, inclusive and just neighborhood from the ground up,” said Thomas O’Brien, founding partner and executive director of HYM. “Suffolk Downs is setting a new standard for sustainable development, creating jobs, affordable housing and public spaces.”
“We are proud to be a part of this momentous event,” said Jonathan Moy of Cathexis.
“We look forward to deepening our roots in the burgeoning Greater Boston community and becoming part of the transformative redevelopment of Suffolk Downs,” said Jeffrey Kanne, President and CEO of National. “Projects of this magnitude, vision and complexity can only be realized with excellent and knowledgeable partners. We are very pleased to strengthen our partnership with The HYM Investment Group while creating good jobs and working to generate attractive returns for our institutional clients.”
The Suffolk Downs project team is committed to ensuring that those who live, work and play at the redeveloped Suffolk Downs site have access to quality, accessible transport. There will be significant improvements to the MBTA Blue Line and bus stops, as well as an interconnected internal network of bike paths and walking trails connecting all the activities the new neighborhood has to offer. Residents and visitors will also have access to 40 acres of new open spaces and parks that incorporate beautiful on-site wetlands and complement the natural treasures of the neighborhoods of Belle Isle Marsh, Revere Beach and Constitution Beach.
Resilience and sustainability design principles were at the forefront of the master design plan for Suffolk Downs. With its partners CBT, Stoss, Beals + Thomas, VHB and Arup, the location recently received the AIA’s Regional & Urban Design Award 2022. Suffolk Downs exceeds current energy regulations and LEED requirements in line with the City of Boston’s goals of achieving net-zero development by 2050.