Despite uncertainty in New England’s construction market, one project start in 2022 comes with the promise of much more work in decades to come. The $9.6-billion Suffolk Downs redevelopment in East Boston and Revere, Mass., began work last May on its $1.02-billion first phase.

The HYM Investment Group project is set to develop the former racetrack into a 16.2-million-sq-ft urban mixed-use district with spaces for retail, R&D, offices and public use over the next 15 to 20 years.

Phase 1 includes a 475-unit residential building that is expected to be built by 2024. “We are creating a new, inclusive and equitable neighborhood from the ground up,” says Thomas N. O’Brien, HYM’s CEO and managing partner.

Suffolk Downs is No. 1 on the 2023 ENR New England Top Starts list. Ranked projects are compiled from information supplied by Dodge Data & Analytics and other sources. The list includes projects that began substantial construction last year in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The combined value of the 15 projects on this year’s list is $4.92 billion, a 9% decrease from the $5.4 billion total for the 10 projects on last year’s list. The top 10 projects on this year’s list total $3.7 billion, a 31.5% decrease from last year’s total. The 2021 list included 20 projects with a combined value of $5.9 billion. The minimum project value on this year’s list is $200 million. The minimum on last year’s list was $175 million. With a construction value of $838 million, the Yale St. Raphael Hospital Neurosciences and parking garage project in New Haven, Conn., is the No. 2 project on this year’s list. The third-ranked project is 421 Park Drive in Boston, with a value of $500 million.