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HYM developer offers update on Suffolk Downs project

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  The redevelopment of Suffolk Downs has been a central theme in Revere since The HYM Investment Group bought the site in 2017.

  This week, Tom O’Brien, founder, managing partner and CEO of HYM, provided a community update on the project at Revere High. O’Brien said residents have probably noticed that the first residential building is underway and is expected to be completed in June 2024. He added that the residential component of the massive project will provide a variety of housing, including single family homes, townhouses and senior housing. He said the goal is to provide housing for different people at different points in their lives.

  However, O’Brien said city officials have stressed that Suffolk Downs must be a true mixed-use site with retail and commercial space. He said the company has been involved with $350 million in infrastructure improvements that will make Suffolk Downs a destination for the general public.

  Some of that work has been improvements to roads. O’Brien said Winthrop Avenue will be a place where vehicles can pass on both sides. He also said there will be improved bus pull offs in Beachmont Square. There will also be traffic flow improvements on Revere Beach Parkway that will begin this summer but will be done in segments to avoid disruptions. O’Brien did mention that many of the roads are MassDOT roads and HYM has limited say about what work can be done.

  O’Brien said residents may have noticed dirt being moved around the site. He said HYM has been trucking in clean soil from around the state to use on road construction, and he assured the audience that all soil being used is clean.

  O’Brien said HYM is also making significant improvements to Route 1, including adding a lane. One member of the audience raised concerns about traffic being diverted onto city roads. O’Brien said HYM has planned transportation improvements throughout, including $25 million to improve the MBTA Blue Line.

  Members of the audience were concerned about traffic flow on city streets, particularly on Sewall and Harris Streets. O’Brien said a separate meeting would be the best way to address concerns from neighborhoods that worry they will be inundated with traffic.

  O’Brien noted several times that there will be 40 acres of open space for all to use. He said the infrastructure work included a water filtration system under the open space that can hold water that will flow out to the ocean.

  The project labor agreement was also part of the update. O’Brien said workers on the site are members of Boston Building Trades and are all union members with training and experience. He talked about HYM’s hope to expand the workforce with people from Revere. He said HYM held a job fair a couple months ago and about 200 people attended. “Many of those people are on the site now working,” said O’Brien. “We want to make sure these jobs go to people in the community.”

  O’Brien was asked about improvements to Beachmont Square, which residents feel they deserve since they will be hit with new waves of traffic. O’Brien said HYM envisions Winthrop Avenue as a boulevard. Telephone poles will be removed and wiring will go underground. Sidewalks will be widened and there will be two rows of street trees.

  One member of the audience asked about where the children who live in the 10,000 residential units will go to school since Beachmont Elementary is already bursting at the seams. O’Brien said half of the square footage of the project that is located in Revere will be commercial property. The majority of residential units are in Boston and children will attend Boston schools.

  O’Brien acknowledged there is more to talk about and suggested the next meeting be held at Suffolk Downs in a larger, more comfortable room, with refreshments.

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