HYM Investment Group Opens Suffolk Downs Racing Circle to the Public

Last Wednesday, HYM Investment Group’s Founding Partner and Managing DirectorTom O’Brien joined East Boston and Revere elected officials to cut the ribbon for the new “The Track at Suffolk Downs” public open space.

For the first time in the history of the thoroughbred racetrack, residents from Eastie and neighboring communities can now walk, jog or take their dogs down to the historic mile-long racing oval. O’Brien said HYM also plans to hold a series of community events and activities throughout the year.

O’Brien said HYM, who is redeveloping the entire 161 acre site into a mixed-use development over the next two decades, will begin the first phase of the redevelopment of the site later this year.

“But really for us the most important part of today is we’re opening this track for public access,” said O’Brien at last week’s ribbon cutting. “For years and years and years people have come to this track and have looked out onto this track, as well as the beautiful infield, and we began to think about how great it would be to kind of walk around the track and get a sense of how big the infield is and get a sense of how big the site is. Today we’re opening the track to public access. This gives people the chance to come down here and run on the track or run on the inside turf or walk on the infield or bring a dog down and walk with a dog. You can really enjoy this place and explore the whole track and have a great time doing it. The track is now open to the public from dawn until dusk from today on, which we’re really excited about.”

The track will also serve as a satellite location for the first sand sculpture as part of this year’s annual Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival, one of the largest sand sculpting festivals in the world. The sculpture will be on view to the public until August 8,

Beginning August 1st, The Track will also be hosting a run club every other Sunday at 10 a.m. These guided 30-40 minute runs around the track are led by live DJ and Run Instructor Chris Cappozzi, and all fitness levels are welcome.

O’Brien said more activations and events will be announced in the coming weeks.

The ribbon cutting also unveiled an art installation titled “The Window Walk” by Artists For Humanity, a Boston-based organization that provides under-resourced teens the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design.

The Window Walk leverages the vast length of windows at Suffolk Downs and creates six different experiences that are in alignment with the future of the public space and that they hope will resonate with viewers. O’Brien said the Artists For Humanity installation will be live for the foreseeable future.

“Artists For Humanity has partnered on hundreds of wonderfully creative projects during it’s now 30 years of mentoring and employing Boston teens in art and design,” said Richard Frank from Artists For Humanity. “But none has been as large, and ambitious, as the transformation of an iconic racetrack into a new, vibrant community. The Window Walk at Suffolk Downs is a perfect example of connecting a progressive, values-based company [HYM] and a creative teen arts enterprise to build more inclusive spaces that express young, imaginative voices and invite all to participate in the fun,” “We look forward to the evolution of this new space, beginning with the public space at the Track, and hope it’s an example to everyone of what thoughtful companies [HYM] and underrepresented, but skilled and talented teens [at Artists For Humanity] can build together.”

Plans for the redevelopment of Suffolk Downs received approval from the Boston Planning and Development Agency in 2020. Approved plans for the project include 16.2 million square feet of development including 10,000 residential units and over 6 million square feet of life science, office, street level retail and publicly accessible parks that will be developed over the next two decades.

“It was a lot of fun working with Tom (O’Brien) and his team on new public open space opportunities at the Suffolk Downs site,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro. “I have never worked with a team that was so willing to sit at the table and collaborate. Through that work we came up with a historic community benefit agreement that will yield at the end of the day over 40 acres of green and open space for our communities to enjoy for the future. But the fact that Tom and his team at HYM is not making us wait until the project is complete to enjoy that open space is really exciting. Today we’re standing on this track and we will now get to enjoy it for the foreseeable future. I have a two and a half month old at home and I’m so excited to bring my wife and son down here to stroll on this oval and take in the historic nature of what this means for our communities and further access to green and open space.”

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