MBC Hosts Tom O’Brien, HYM’s Suffolk Downs Redevelopment

Tom O’Brien with Richard Lampman, president, MBC

Boston – Thomas N. O’Brien, founding partner, managing director of The HYM Investment Group, LLC, was the guest speaker at the Massachusetts Building Congress (MBC) January breakfast meeting.

The HYM Investment Group recently announced that it completed the purchase of Suffolk Downs, a 161-acre property in both East Boston and Revere. O’Brien shared plans for the site located next to the Suffolk Downs and Beachmont MBTA Blue Line stations, two stops from Logan Airport and 10 minutes from downtown Boston. The racetrack will close this year. HYM plans to transform the land into a highly resilient, transit-oriented, mixed-use development with commercial office, retail, housing, and open space.

O’Brien explained that a proposal to provide a corporate headquarters campus for Amazon was included in the plans, but that alternate plans were prepared if Amazon opted out. Amazon recently announced that Boston is on the short list for its second corporate headquarters known as HQ2.

The HYM Investment Group proposes approximately 16.5 million sf of development on the Suffolk Downs site. The multiphased proposal includes development of a new mixed-use neighborhood, 40 acres of publicly accessible open space, and two retail squares at Suffolk Downs and Beachmont stations.

The initial project phase will include two office buildings (each 260,000sf, or 520,000sf total), with supporting corporate uses on the ground floors.

HYM’s team includes CBT as master planner and architect, Stoss as landscape architect, PCA as retail architect, VHB for permitting and traffic consultant, Beals + Thomas as civil engineer, Arup as sustainability consultant, and LimnoTech as resiliency consultant.

Site plan indicating central open green space

A question was asked by an MBC member regarding the January flooding in Boston and how it might affect the plans. O’Brien addressed the question with HYM’s forward-thinking principles to effectively manage for climate change and sea-level rise. The plans call for raising the ground level for buildings and at the same time providing a large centrally located open space that could also serve to quickly accommodate excess water for drainage if necessary.

HYM is a Boston-based real estate firm with significant local development experience including Bulfinch Crossing, Boston; Northpoint, Cambridge; and Boston Landing, Boston.

The next MBC Breakfast will host Kathy MacNeil, principal, Millennium Partners, to discuss the Winthrop Square project, February 15. For more information visit


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