When it comes to Revere’s economic development in 2018, it’s safe to say that the proposed development of Suffolk Downs was the biggest story.
A 151-arce site situated in Revere and East Boston, the Suffolk Downs property, under the watchful eyes of the developer, the HYM Investment Group, will mold the area into a new community, with Beachmont Square and Belle Isle Square serving as the front door to the development.
“We have used the word ‘transformational’ to describe this project, and that is no overstatement. Phase One alone will constitute the most ambitious development project in the city’s history and will have tremendous influence on our city’s economy and recreational environment,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo.
The first phase of the development as a whole will begin in Revere, since the city was able to complete the permitting process. In November 2018 the City Council approved the entire planned urban development site (PUD).
There will be close to 1.5 million square feet of development. Construction is expected to begin by the end of 2019. Between now and then there will be the demolition of the horse barns and the preparation of the development.
The construction phase is expected to start in late 2019 or early 2020.
In other development around the city, there are about 30 projects underway in various stages; almost 23 could see completion this year. Some like Ocean 650, the Beach Club, property on Dahon Street and the Gate Residential on Revere Beach Parkway is just about complete.
The XSS Hotel near the old China Lantern site on Ocean Ave., a tandem hotel to the Gate property, will get underway. Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites are planned with a shared lobby, amenities and facilities on the Beach.
“Beyond that we have five hotels, with over 500 rooms, that are on the way,” Arrigo said. “Two on Revere Beach Boulevard are under construction, and work on a hotel on Ocean Avenue, a final phase of the Waterfront Square development, will begin construction in the very near future.”
The site of the former car wash on American Legion Highway will be demolished to make room for another hotel. This will become an Avid Hotel, with 100 rooms.
The site of the former Papa Gino’s on Squire Road is also being prepared to become another hotel.
There is also another hotel planned for the Revere portion of the Suffolk Downs development. That would make eight hotels for the city, and there is interest in other hotels, but nothing is set in stone.
“Hotels are attractive from the city’s prospective because they provide revenue in the form of property tax and also produce sales tax, room tax, meals tax revenues. Their demand on city services is relatively low, and they are a source of employment for our residents,” Arrigo said, adding that Revere’s proximity to Boston, the beach, the airport or the MBTA Blue Line make the city particularly attractive to the hotel industry.
On Ocean Avenue the Waterfront Square property should be completed, includes the Vanguard (under new ownership) and Ocean 650.
On Revere Beach Boulevard Gate Residential is developing the lot immediately north of Atlantic Towers as well as the parcel on Ocean Avenue immediately adjacent to Surfside Lots.
At the site of the former China Lantern on Ocean Avenue, developers plan 75 apartment units and 320 Revere Beach Blvd. can also begin construction this year. The Cove project on Revere Street by The Neighborhood Developers is expected to begin construction. There are also plans for micro-units on Dehon Street in 2019. Elsewhere there will be the construction of 18 units on North Shore Road. The construction of a self-storage facility on Charger Road continues and tenants are also being sought by the owners of the old NECCO building.