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INDEX PAGE
MAPS: A before and after look

July 26, 2005: Air base plans get the final approval votes
June 28, 2005: Rockland approves air base plan
June 21, 2005: Abington approves air base plan
May 6 , 2005: Air base plan gets nod: 90-day clock running for Weymouth, Rockland and Abington
March 5, 2005: New plan calls for 54% more commercial space, boost in jobs
Feb. 2, 2005: Regional panels praise plan for reuse of air base
Jan. 26, 2005: Navy tells towns to come up with air base redevelopment plan by summer
Jan. 11, 2005: The air base plan may be less of a moneymaker than towns anticipated.
Oct. 15, 2004: EPA official finds Lennar reuse plan to be 'better for air and water quality
Oct. 1, 2004: Chairman of Tri-town Board quits, then changes his mind
Sept. 29, 2004: Executive director of Board agrees contract buyout.

TIMELINE: A look at the Tri-Town Board.

Sept. 28, 2004: Tri-Town won’t hire consultant to review plan
Sept. 25, 2004: Editorial.

Sept. 24, 2004
Air base plan: Lots of housing
MAPS: A before and after look
Graphic shows division of space
Villages to be created
Growth projected by 2017
Projected tax revenues

Biotechnology: Plan emphasizes jobs
Projected benefits for Weymouth, Abington, Rockland
Impact on roads, traffic, water, sewer, open space
New homes building schedule

Some fear plan will overburden schools
Plan puts end to rumors

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DIVISION OF SPACE CHART
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

 

 

Sept. 24, 2004

AIR BASE PLAN:  LOTS OF HOUSING

Illustration of the village center, the core of Lennar Partners’ plan for development of the former air base.
Illustration of the village center, the core of Lennar Partners’ plan for development of the former air base.

Developer proposes nearly 3,000 units of housing by 2017


The Patriot Ledger

A plan for the future of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station was made public last night that the developer says would provide the three towns where the base is located with $11.1 million in additional tax revenue annually after paying for schools and other town services.

Plan would create 2,533 new jobs

The plan calls for building 2,855 homes and condos and creating 2,533 new jobs on the base by 2017.

The plan California-based developer Lennar Partners presented for the 1,405-acre base includes six “villages” clustered together, mostly in Weymouth and within a 5-minute walk of the project’s center. About 250 people attended the presentation last night.

MAP SHOWING PLANS FOR
AIR BASE
Click map or here to enlarge
Click map or here to enlarge

Construction would take place in three phases and last from 2008 to 2017.

“This is a big enough project that it will impact the entire region,” David Hall, Lennar vice president for Northeast operations, said. “It impacts the South Shore.”

The Navy is still deciding whether to transfer without cost a major portion of the base property to South Shore Tri-Town Development Corp., the regional development agency that has contracted with Lennar to be master developer.

“It’s too soon for us to have a position on the presentation. We want to see what Tri-Town thinks,” John Peters, a civilian spokesman for the Navy, said today in a telephone interview from Norfolk, Va.

After subtracting annual impacts and services for the development, Lennar estimates an $11.1 annual profit to the towns each year by 2017 – $5.1 million to Weymouth, $4.7 million to Rockland and $1.3 million to Abington.

Lennar Partners’ plan for the site includes a gymnasium and outdoor swimming pool.
Lennar Partners’ plan for the site includes a gymnasium and outdoor swimming pool.

All figures that Lennar presented, including home costs and fiscal benefits, are in 2004 dollars and do not account for inflation.

The housing proposal is a mix of apartments, condos and single-family homes, with prices ranging from about $250,000 for some condos to almost $1 million for single-family homes bordering an 18-hole golf course on the south side of the base.

“The idea is that we need a diversity of housing, not just one type of housing,” Evan Rose, a Lennar design consultant, said.

More than 75 percent of the commercial space would be light industrial buildings spread along Shea Memorial Drive on the north side of the base. Lennar officials hope to lure biotech manufacturers that offer high-paying jobs.

All homes and businesses would be within two miles of a transportation center on the base that would provide bus service to move people from their homes to their jobs and to the South Weymouth commuter rail station.

A shuttle would circulate every 15 minutes from the so-called Transit Village through the other five villages:

  • Shea Village, a mix of light industrial and biotech buildings along Shea Memorial Drive.
  • Village Center, a mix of apartments, condos and retail with a hotel and sports complex.
  • Northern Village Center, a mix of townhouses and single-family homes.
  • East Village, a mix of townhouses and homes.
  • Golf Village, mostly single-family homes with some townhouses bordering an 18-hole public golf course.

The developer hopes to obtain its water – estimated at 1 million gallons per day – through a dedicated hookup from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority.

Lennar’s plan will now undergo months of intense scrutiny from the South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation, the public agency overseeing base redevelopment, as well as from residents and local, state and federal officials.

Illustration showing nature walkway.
Illustration showing nature walkway.

Tri-Town will negotiate with Lennar for a plan more to its liking, which it hopes to endorse Jan. 1. Then it will go to the three towns.

In order for a new reuse plan to pass, two-thirds of the Weymouth Town Council and two-thirds of voters at town meetings in Rockland and Abington must approve the proposal.

Lennar and Tri-Town are shooting for a spring approval of a new reuse plan.

“This truly is a first step in a new journey for us, and I know the board is excited,” Tri-Town Chairman Robert Lundquist said, later telling the audience that “we have to get the message out. We need to hear from you and you will have a say in the plan.”

The current reuse plan, approved in 1998, had a megamall as its centerpiece. It was scrapped in 2000 when residents and officials became wary of the project generating massive traffic and few high-paying jobs.

The new proposal improves on those conditions and others such as open space. Under the Lennar plan, about 72 percent of the site would be open space, including wetlands, parks, recreation fields and the golf course.

Lennar officials said they were surprised by the large turnout at the presentation last night of more than 250 people, who squeezed into a conference center on the base. Tri-Town officials toyed with the idea of moving the meeting to the new Weymouth High School but decided against it.

At one point, Weymouth Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Davis showed up and would only allow someone in if another person left. The capacity for the building is 200 people.

Mark Fontecchio may be reached by clicking here.

 

The Villages

Northern Village Center

Townhouses and garden homes around small parks and squares


Transit Village

Apartments and townhouses all within a five-minute walk of the train station and nearby retail shops


East Village

Mostly townhouses and single-family homes near public squares, small parks and fields


Golf Village

Townhouses and single-family homes next to the public golf course


Shea Village

Mix of light industrial, research and development, office and recreational buildings along Shea Memorial Drive near the existing Coast Guard housing

Projected job growth by 2017


On the base

Retail    444

Biotech 1,394

Office    462

Hotel     200

Golf       33

Total   2,533


Within 7.5-mile radius of base (including base jobs)

Retail    592

Biotech 4,404

Office    924

Hotel     250

Golf       33

Total   6,203


Temporary construction jobs

2008-11 3,653

2011-14 6,049

2014-17 2,874

Projected new tax revenues annually after expenses


Weymouth: $5.1 million
Rockland: $4.7 million
Abington: $1.3 million

Source: Lennar Partners. Estimates are in 2004 dollars.

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