Retirement Community Already Open At Former South Weymouth Naval Base
Banker & Tradesman | By Jay Fitzgerald
December 25, 2016
The developer of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station is hoping the recent signing of a Dutch technology company as an anchor tenant will act as a catalyst for other major employers to locate operations on the South Shore, long considered a distant third choice for firms looking to expand or relocate in the Greater Boston area.
Prodrive Technologies of Holland in September announced it would center its U.S. operations at Union Point, the new name of the sprawling redevelopment project on 1,500 acres of former military property straddling Abington, Rockland and Weymouth. Prodrive expects to break ground this spring on the first phase of what it hopes will be 550,000 square feet of office, research and manufacturing space that could generate 300 to 500 jobs over the years at Union Point.
Matthew Barry, division president of LStar, the North Carolina developer overseeing the Union Point buildout, said his firm is following up the Prodrive success with “active discussions” with other potential tenants interested in building on four sites at Union Point. Though he declined to give details, the future commercial projects could include a new medical building, a Class A office building and possibly other R&D facilities.
“They’re all north of 150,000 square feet,” said Barry of the potential scope of other projects. “We’re getting our fair share of looks.”
And that’s exactly what Barry – as well as officials in Abington, Rockland and Weymouth – was hoping for when LStar won approvals last year to build as much as 6 million to 8 million square feet of commercial space at Union Point, in addition to the nearly 4,000 housing units and 500,000 square feet of retail space planned at Union Point, formerly known as SouthField.
Though Barry said LStar plans to “follow the market” in terms of what type of commercial ventures might locate at Union Point, it’s obvious officials are hoping to establish a cluster of tech-orientated employers at the site, following the lead of Prodrive, a robotics and electronics company.
If Union Point ends up attracting tech companies and other major firms, it would go a long way toward finally establishing the South Shore as a viable alternative for firms that have traditionally eyed the Cambridge-Boston and Route 128 North areas for their business operations, said Peter Forman, president and CEO of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.