Half-mile road could fire up development at old Navy site

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
September 1, 2016

UNionPA half-mile stretch of road could be the key that unlocks one of the biggest development sites in Greater Boston.

That’s what builders and state and local officials say about a half-mile extension of the road inside the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station, now the site of a 1,400-acre, $2 billion, mixed-use development.

Long a white whale, the project — known as Southfield until it was recently rechristened Union Point — has been stalled for years, despite the white-hot real estate market around Greater Boston. It has been delayed in part because there’s no way to get from one side of the development to the other. There is an access road from Route 3 on one side, and another from Route 18, but nothing connecting the two in the middle.

Now, for $6.7 million in state money, that’s set to change. On Thursday, officials lead by Governor Charlie Baker will be in Weymouth to break ground for the road.

“It has been a reminder of the unfulfilled promise of this place,” said Kyle Corkum, managing partner at LStar, a North Carolina developer that bought the project last year from Starwood Land Ventures. “Simply opening up the road makes possible a lot of commercial development that wouldn’t happen otherwise.”

The state spent nearly $45 million in 2011 building a 1.8-mile parkway from the eastern side of the vast former air base, which straddles parts of Weymouth, Rockland, and Abington. But the road abruptly ends at a mostly abandoned section of the old base so desolate that it’s now used for movie sets. A half-mile away is another road that connects to the South Weymouth commuter rail station and busy Route 18.

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