Future of Suffolk Downs Site

With the 79-year-old historic thoroughbred race track poised to close at the end of the year there remains one big uncertainty–what will the former track be developed into.

During the course of touting a casino way back before Eastie residents rejected the Host Community Referendum 55 percent to 45 percent, Suffolk Downs had to submit alternative plans for the site to the Department of Environmental Projection.

These plans included mixed use developments, housing, retail and other amenities reminiscent of the widely successful Assembly Row in Somerville.

Eastiue residents are now hoping a development like that becomes a reality.

What needs to be done now is all sides must come together and ensure the site, which is larger than the Innovation District in Southie, gets developed in a way that compliments the neighborhood, the surrounding wetlands and continues to be part of the community for another 79 years.

Mayor Martin Walsh and his staff will understandably have their hands full over in Charlestown to make sure the residents there are protected from the Wynn Everett casino development. There are huge concerns regarding Sullivan Square and Rutherford Ave. but Eastie is going to need the same protection and this could be a cause for concern.

This is a 160 plus acre plot of land that can be transformed into something exciting or, if no one is paying attention, into something that further impacts Eastie’s quality of life.

We pray its not the latter.

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