The following statement has been issued from the HYM Investment Group, LLC, owners of the Suffolk Downs Race Track site.
Suffolk Downs is a 161-acre thoroughbred horse-racing facility located within East Boston and Revere, with approximately 109 acres of the site in East Boston, and approximately 52 acres in Revere. The racing facility is being closed, and redevelopment of the site provides a unique opportunity to develop a dynamic new, mixed-use district, which will spur economic development, create additional housing, and improve connections between several adjoining neighborhoods.
The Suffolk Downs site has been identified by the City of Boston in its 2030 plan as an appropriate location for a mixed-use development and more recently Boston has identified the site as a suitable potential location for Amazon’s second corporate headquarters. As part of its RFP, Amazon is seeking an approximately 500,000-square-foot office building with ground-floor retail space and related infrastructure and open space improvements to be delivered in 2019.
We have commenced the review process for the entire Suffolk Downs site under the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA), as well as the process for review and approval of the site-wide master plan by the City of Boston and the City of Revere. In addition to submitting plans for the entire development site, we have filed comprehensive impact studies with MEPA and the City of Boston for an initial development phase consisting of two 260,000-square-foot office buildings located in the southeast corner of the site next to the Suffolk Downs MBTA Blue Line station. The submissions made for these buildings include full studies of traffic, drainage, greenhouse gas emissions, energy utilization, climate change resiliency, and historic, wind, shadow and daylight impacts. These two buildings represent a tiny portion of the entire development–less than 4 percent of the total floor area, which can be constructed at Suffolk Downs under current zoning regulations. These two initial buildings would be constructed to LEED Gold environmental standards, and the only vehicle access will be through the existing vehicle entrances to Suffolk Downs.
In an effort to meet Amazon’s accelerated deadline, we are seeking an expedited, but thorough, review from MEPA and the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA). We are not asking to “skip” any categories of environmental reviews. We are only asking MEPA and the BPDA to review our thoroughly prepared filing on this Phase 1 component and determine if these buildings can move forward immediately if requested by Amazon. This type of request has been approved for first phases of other projects, including: Winsor School Project; Waterfront Square in Revere; and General Electric. The larger master plan is not impacted by this request, and will be subject to comprehensive review by MEPA, Boston and Revere.
We take environmental review very seriously, and have spent time with our consultant team to create a thorough filing. We have taken care to discuss fast-tracking Phase 1 at community meetings in our ongoing conversation with various neighborhood groups and residents. Because we know the process can be confusing, we want to be as transparent as possible and provide the public with the relevant filing information. As always, we are happy to further clarify details of the filing and we will continue to discuss the project timeline at upcoming public meetings and address any concerns or questions.
You can read our Expanded Project Notification Form (EPNF) which we filed with on Dec. 5, with the Boston Planning and Development Agency; and our MEPA summary.