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BPDA Approves Suffolk Downs Redevelopment After 7-Hour Meeting

The Suffolk Downs race track in East Boston is set to be redeveloped into a new neighborhood by HYM  Investment Group. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The Suffolk Downs race track in East Boston is set to be redeveloped into a new neighborhood by HYM Investment Group. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The Suffolk Downs race track property will be redeveloped to create 10,000 units of housing after Boston's planning agency approved the creation of an entire new neighborhood there early Friday morning.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency heard from more than 100 people on both sides of the $8 billion project in a meeting that started Thursday evening and spanned seven hours.

An array of union members spoke in support, while affordable housing and environmental advocates called for revisions.

Board member Ted Landsmark said concerns over displacement shouldn’t be put on developer HYM Investment.

“Gentrification is a market force that continues whether or not a particular development is effectuated — and delays at this moment, given what’s going on in the broader economy, also means that we lose opportunity to jump start work that needs to go on in this city," Landsmark said.

The meeting ended in an unanimous yes vote.

The project could take 20 years to complete.

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