After running a successful drive-in movie program during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last summer, owners of Suffolk Down, HYM Investment Group, have decided to open the historic racetrack oval to the public this summer.
At the Orient Heights Community meeting Monday night HYM’s Site Activation Manager Jessica Feroli said the main goal is to try and provide a new interim open space for the community.
“The plan is to have the track open daily from dawn till dusk for everyone to come and use the track for exercising, dog walking, running and other activities,” said Feroli. “The track itself has never actually been open to the public other than a few special events.”
Feroli said the track’s oval is a mile long and is located between Suffolk Downs and Beachmont MBTA stations.
“We are just about to embark on starting the construction for the track entrance and right off the clubhouse parking lot is where the entrance will be,” she said. “It’ll be a double wide gate, it’s going to be ADA accessible and we’ll have some picnic benches, some portable restrooms there.and there’ll be signage all throughout the property with information.”
Feroli said HYM, who is redeveloping the entire 170 acre site into a mixed-use development over the next two decades, plans to open the track to the public after the 4th of July holiday.
“We’re anticipating that the track will be open through the late fall,” she said. “Once the snow falls it’s a little bit harder to maintain the track so basically it will be a weather dependent use until it starts snowing. We’ll have security open up the gates in the morning, close them at night, they’ll do rounds during the day to make sure we’re not locking the date with anyone inside. We’ll also post information on our Instagram and Facebook pages with all the rules and regulations as well as onsite signage and both English and Spanish.”
Feroli said HYM started an email marketing database last summer with the successful drive-in summer series and hopes to use that database to get the word out.
“We have a good amount of email addresses of people within the community so we can get the word out about this easily,” she said. “Hopefully we will be having some free fitness events and things like that, but mainly the track will just be open daily for the community to use.”