For Immediate Release - April 24, 2008

Governor Patrick Announces Weymouth Growth District at the Former Weymouth Naval Air Station

New Initiative will Expedite Commercial and Residential Development

WEYMOUTH - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - Governor Patrick today announced the "Southfield" area in Weymouth has been identified as a municipal growth district, located at the former Naval Air Station, enabling the state to make targeted areas "development ready" and expediting commercial and residential development in the area.

The announcement comes on the heels of Governor Patrick laying out his economic plan to create a culture of opportunity focused on restrained spending with immediate and long-term investments, while preparing for the impacts of a softening national economy.

"Growth Districts are hubs of economic growth and housing development across the Commonwealth," said Governor Deval Patrick. "By identifying districts, such as Southfield in Weymouth, and focusing our collective resources on making each one development ready, we are creating the conditions for business growth and community revitalization for years to come."

Southfield is the site of the former Weymouth Naval Air Station. The area falls within the boundaries of Weymouth, Abington, and Rockland - with Route 18 to the east and Route 3 to the south. The area consists of 1,386 acres that will have 2 million square feet of commercial space and 2,855 residential units when finished. The housing development will include 20% affordable units in addition to workforce housing to support the businesses. The growth district will strengthen the region's economic position by creating thousands of permanent jobs and construction jobs.

Through the Growth Districts Initiative, the Administration will partner with municipalities that have identified one or more areas for significant commercial, residential, or mixed-use growth. By identifying designated growth districts, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development will focus resources to ensure that each district is truly "development ready."

The Administration will identify a total of 16 growth districts around the Commonwealth. Weymouth is the fourth community to host a growth district following Worcester, Haverhill and Chicopee.

The initiative offers a focused approach to work with each community ensuring that all required permits are secured, site preparation is completed, infrastructure improvements are identified, and marketing resources are made available. Each district will be put on a fast track for groundbreaking.

The Growth Districts Initiative is another way the Administration is coordinating state resources, building relationships with local government and working with regional economic development planning councils to stimulate long term growth. Now with growth districts, a proactive planning process for long term economic growth can be mapped out with municipalities while the state targets its resources to help create the conditions for business and housing growth.