HYM’s vision for Suffolk Downs, an underutilized horse racing facility closed in 2018, 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 plans include reconnecting it to the adjacent neighborhoods. It is located in both the cities of East Boston and Revere, convenient to an MBTA station, two stops from Logan Airport and 10 minutes from downtown Boston. The powerful new economic hub will include hotels, street-front retail, and restaurants, generating new jobs, local tax revenues and will create a destination that is significant for the futures of both East Boston and Revere.
Due to the site being low-lying, plans for Suffolk Downs will rely on forward-thinking principles to effectively manage for climate change and sea-level rise. Stoss is leading landscape and open space design for the development, including resiliency planning—building on our experience and deep knowledge of Climate Ready Boston principles. The site includes protected wetlands and is situated on a low-lying plane subject to the impacts of sea-level rise, therefore master planning efforts incorporate integrated strategies to address climate change and mitigate flooding.
The plan envisions a system of interlocking open spaces that serve to channel water during both tidal and storm events. Wetlands and salt marshes are preserved at the edges to provide a natural barrier and incorporate natural ecology into the site. As you move into the site, green fingers channel water deliberately through the site. These fingers lead to a central green that acts as a catch basin and infiltration site able to accommodate water from an 100 year storm event. When not holding water, the site acts as an amphitheater providing an active space for programming.