Following a series of community Impact Advisory Group (AIG) meetings HYM Investment Group’s Managing Partner Thomas O’Brien said his group has made some design changes to the Suffolk Downs proposal as it pertains to the Waldemar Ave. corridor.
Originally HYM proposed a row of townhouse-style homes that would line Waldemar. While it was a simple solution to make the 163-acre Suffolk Downs site part of the community rather than an isolated development, O’Brien thought his team could do more.
At a recent community meeting O’Brien announced some of the changes HYM has come up with after a series of IAG meetings.
“We always felt that Waldemar Avenue is our (HYM’s) great connection to the neighborhood,” said O’Brien. “So we look at our original plan, met with the community and tried to figure out ways to make this street a gateway into our site and connect it to the rest of the community.”
The plan, according to O’Brien is to create the row of townhouses, but break up the series of homes mid-block with a park.
“Having this beautiful community open space in the middle of Waldemar Avenue we thought would really connect the Suffolk Downs site to the neighborhood and be a welcoming entrance into the site for neighborhood residents,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien said there would be neighborhood paths that would run through the park and connect to proposed bike paths and walkways on the Suffolk Downs site.
“We want to create a real neighborhood street that complements the existing homes on Waldemar, the new Orient Heights Housing development project and out proposed green space,” said O’Brien
It’s been O’Brien and HYM’s passion to make Suffolk Downs part of Eastie and not just another large scale development.
“There will also be a 200 ft. buffer behind the Waldemar Avenue townhouses we are proposing as well as the existing homes on Waldemar,” said O’Brien. “This will include pathways and bike paths that run behind Waldemar and act as a natural buffer between the residential neighborhood and the proposed building that are part of Phase I.”
In February, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) recently approved HYM’s Suffolk Downs Phase I proposal.
Phase I of the Suffolk Downs project involves building on a one million square foot portion of the 161-acre site that would house Amazon offices close to the Suffolk Downs MBTA Blue Line station.
In its national Request for Proposals (RFP) Amazon said the city it picks would be able to provide 500,000 sq. ft. of office space by 2019. For months HYM has been trying to make a small portion in the southeast corner of the 161-acre site “Amazon ready” if the Seattle-based internet company decides to pick Boston and move its HQ2 here.
According to the BPDA Suffolk Downs’s Phase I includes 520,000 sq. ft. of office space within two 260,000 sq. ft. buildings with supporting corporate space on the ground floor. Both buildings will be approximately 124 feet tall and will include terraced outdoor spaces with a landscaped, open-air walkway between the two buildings. The two buildings will share approximately 500 parking spaces.
As part of the plan 12-acres of existing open space that is Part of the Phase I portion of the project would be untouched while about an acre and half of new open space would be created as part of the proposal. This would include pedestrian access to the MBTA Blue Line station.
HYM Investment Group’s Managing Partner Thomas O’Brien updates residents on the Suffolk Downs proposal at a recent community meeting.