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Suffolk Downs developer addresses rumors, dispels worries of project

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By Barbara Taormina


REVERE – Tom O’Brien, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of The HYM Investment Group, met with the City Council this week to update them on the status of the development of Suffolk Downs. City Councillors Joann McKenna and Michelle Kelley requested the meeting to dispel rumors that the company has run into problems with the project.

“We were hearing rumors the site wasn’t doing well,” McKenna said. “We wanted you to come here and talk about that.”

Kelley was more specific. She said the vote for the bond for the new high school was coming on May 20 and the Suffolk Downs development was supposed to provide $40 million in revenue for the city over 20 years. “It’s a key factor in the city’s ability to pay for the new high school,” said Kelley, who wanted to know if Revere could still depend on that income in that time frame.

O’Brien said $550 million has already been spent on the site. Roughly half of that amount went into the building that’s ready to go. The ribbon will be cut in June. There has also been $300 million spent on site work and infrastructure, such as roads, water, sewer and parks.

“Our objective is to bring people to the site. We feel good about where we are,” said O’Brien, who added that construction is going as fast as possible.

But O’Brien also acknowledged there have been some challenges. “The commercial real estate industry is in recession right now,” he said.

“But we have building we’re delivering. The bio lab building and retail space building are paused but they are designed and ready to go. We’re working with the trades and suppliers to make sure we have the costs lined up,” said O’Brien.

O’Brien also said that the life sciences industry, which has been at the heart of Boston’s thriving economy, has an also suffered a slowdown but HYM is still moving forward. “Our intention is to bring some of that economic opportunity to Revere,” he told councillors.

O’Brien repeatedly stressed that HYM has been working to transform an abandoned race track into a place where people want to go. He highlighted the outdoor music venue that can accommodate 8,500 people and said there are 12 concerts lined up for this summer.

Throughout his talk with councillors, O’Brien focused on the work that has been accomplished so far. “We’ve completed everything we’re obligated to complete,” he said.

He added that HYM has spent a ton of money on the Revere side of the development, which has been the company’s priority.

He said several times that investors, whom he characterized as large institutional investors, have already spent $550 million. “Nobody is walking away,” he said.

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