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This neighborhood is facing two huge possibilities – the possible licensing of a casino at Suffolk Downs with horse racing continuing as it has for 75 years and the remaking of the East Boston waterfront by developers eager to take advantage of the great views of the city and an ideal location for new residents.

Very few neighborhoods in this state face such powerful possibilities for transformation as does East Boston.

Mayor Thomas Menino has made it clear that his administration will be working in tandem with the Boston Redevelopment Administration to change the face of the waterfront.

The plan is to take the best-underutilized locations along the waterfront and to develop them with residential housing and all attendant commercial development that will pop up as a result.

This has been talked about and tried before but due to the near collapse of the national economy in 2007 and the following recession, nearly everything meaningful meant to happen on our waterfront came to a screeching halt.

That was then. This is now.

With interests rates and cost for construction lower than it has been in nearly a decade, the East Boston waterfront is prime for development.

As if that were not enough, there is the very real and compelling possibility that $500 million to start will be spent remaking Suffolk Downs into a first class, Boston style casino – one more reason for visitors to Boston to find the entertainment a first class city anywhere in this world should offer.

Thousands of jobs will be created by a building boom on the waterfront and thousands more will come with a casino at Suffolk Downs.

In the end, if these two ventures work out, this neighborhood will have more economic development going on than all the combined neighborhoods in the city.

As 2012 unfolds, it appears as though East Boston is on its ways to development that means much more than a flash in the pan.

That’s good news for this neighborhood and for Boston.

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