Mega Projects In The Making by Paul Canning

 In News, Newsletter: spring '19

Suffolk Downs Redevelopment

The HYM Investment Group, LLC announced that it has completed the purchase of Suffolk Downs, a site located adjacent to two stops on the MBTA’s Blue Line. HYM’s vision for the underutilized horse racing facility, which is now closed, is to transform the land into a highly-resilient, transit-oriented, mixed-use development with commercial office, retail, housing, and open space. This 161-acre site has been separated from the community for decades and will be reconnected to the adjacent neighborhoods. The powerful new economic hub will include hotels, street-front retail, restaurants and will generate new jobs, new local tax revenues and create a destination that is significant for the futures of both East Boston and Revere.

The HYM Investment Group proposes approximately 10.5 million square feet of development on approximately 110 acres of the Suffolk Downs site in the city of Boston and Revere. The multi-phased proposal will include the development of a new mixed-use neighborhood, 40-acre accessible open space system, and two retail squares at Suffolk Downs and Beachmont train stations.

This is a five-phase, 20-year project. Phase one will consist of three (3) residential buildings, a portion of townhomes totaling 800 housing units and the construction of the Horseshoe Pond Landscaped wetland enhancements and Belle Isle Square public plaza with over 100,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Phases 2 through 5 are still in the planning phase.

The site is located in both the cities of East Boston and Revere and is next to the Suffolk Downs and the Beachmont MBTA Blue Line stations; two stops from Logan Airport and 10 minutes from downtown Boston. Suffolk Downs should be built by the safest, most diverse, highly trained, productive and inclusive workforce possible. A PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENT will ensure and guarantee that Boston, Revere, and the surrounding communities will have the opportunity to work on this mega-project with good wages, benefits and working conditions.

DC 35 representatives, along with the Building Trades, have continued to attend public meetings being held by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and HYM and we plan to stay on top of this development.

Union Square Redevelopment Project (USQ)

The Union Square Redevelopment mega-project is a project being developed by US2, an organizational front name for Magellan Development Group and RAS Development, both headquartered in Chicago. Union Square Redevelopment Project is the revitalization of Union Square, Somerville. Supported by the New MBTA Green Line, this development includes building 2.4 million square feet of office and labs along with housing, green space, and retail to make this area a vibrant new neighborhood.

The Commercial aspect is an array of new commercial spaces that will appeal to companies at various stages of growth, expanding the local ecosystem for work in innovation. New labs, tech, retail, hospitality, hotels, arts, and creative spaces will redefine Union Square as the place to work.

The residential aspect will consist of a vibrant new residential neighborhood that will become the home to people not only living in Union Square but also working in the areas bustling economy. The plan is to build 900-950 new residences with 20% permanently affordable.

A coalition called Somerville Stands Together is demanding fairness and equity from developers within the 4 square miles of one of the nations most populated cities. The coalition envisions and supports a Somerville where everyone can get on this project with good wages and benefits, AKA Community Standards of Living.

DC 35 has continued to support the residents of Somerville with protests and rallies with our membership and Building Trades Affiliates on City Hall.

Brothers and Sisters, let us not forget the BROKEN promises that Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone made to the building trades back when they started to develop the Assembly Square Development, only to see Somerville Mayor Curtatone side with the developers handing them controversial affordable housing waivers at the same time the developers, with OUT OF STATE WORKERS, where exploiting workers without any type of agreement or safeguard protections for the hard-working men and women in Somerville and the surrounding areas.

Union Square also should be built by the safest, most diverse, highly trained, productive and inclusive workforce possible. A Project Labor Agreement (PLA) will guarantee equal pay for equal work and prioritize career opportunities for Somerville residents, women, veterans and people of color.