The Southfield Redevelopment Authority (SRA) was originally established as the South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation (SSTTDC) on August 14, 1998 by the Massachusetts Legislature under Chapter 301 of the Acts of 1998, as amended by Section 37 of Chapter 303 of the Acts of 2008. It was established for the purposes of acquiring the land and managing the redevelopment of the former South Weymouth naval air station (NAS), located on approximately 1,400 acres in the towns of Abington, Rockland, and Weymouth, for nonmilitary purposes including, but not limited to, commercial, housing, industrial, conservation, or manufacturing uses. To accomplish this, in 1995 the Governor issued Executive Order 378, which established the Naval Air Station Planning Committee (NASPC). NASPC adopted a Reuse Plan in January 1998 to govern reuse of the NAS. In October 2002, SRA selected LNR Property, LLC as the master developer to develop the South Weymouth NAS in accordance with the Reuse Plan. The plan called for a maximum of 2,855 residential units and between 900,000 and 2 million square feet of commercial development. In April 2013, Starwood Capital Group acquired LNR Property, LLC (thereafter named LNR South Shore LLC). LNR retained the role of master developer.
On May 13, 2013, the Office of the State Auditor issued an audit report (No. 2012-1452-3A) that identified significant deficiencies in SSTTDC’s operations that jeopardized its ability to complete the NAS redevelopment project. Most significantly, that audit found that SSTTDC had not developed the necessary plans to support critical aspects of the development, including completing the East-West Parkway, financing a water and wastewater system, and financing future infrastructure requirements. The audit also found inadequate oversight of SSTTDC operations, inadequate controls over the administration of contracted services, and late filings of audited financial statements. Our audit report made a number of recommendations to address these problems.
In response to that report, on August 20, 2014 the Governor signed into law Chapter 291 of the Acts of 2014. Among other things, this law was established for the following purpose:
Reconstitute the South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation (SSTTDC) as the Southfield Redevelopment Authority (SRA), reinforce municipal control over land use and development decisions affecting the Towns that constitute NAS South Weymouth and strengthen the alignment of interests between the Authority, the Towns and the Master Developer.
The new law granted the towns greater control, particularly regarding land use decisions, collection of taxes, and provision of municipal services within the South Weymouth NAS. The law also shifted SRA’s financial obligations for development of the East-West Parkway and for water and wastewater development to the master developer.
Under Chapter 291, oversight and governance of SRA were entrusted to a reconstituted nine-member board of directors that replaced the previous five-member board. The Reuse Plan was replaced by a Redevelopment Plan that required the NAS redevelopment to be done consistently with the previous Reuse Plan. After Chapter 291 was enacted, the reconstituted board eliminated the positions of chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and water/sewer superintendent. (For a timeline of SRA’s activities since its inception, see Appendix A.)
In May 2015, SRA’s board approved the transfer of LNR’s responsibilities to LStar Southfield, LLC (LStar), a subsidiary of LStar Management, LLC. On May 13, 2015, SRA and LStar entered into a Second Amended and Restated Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA), replacing two previous DDAs entered into with LNR. In June 2017, SRA and LStar renegotiated the DDA and entered into a Third Amended and Restated DDA, which significantly altered the timing and amounts of revenue payable to SRA by LStar.
The 1,400 acres in the project are being developed into a community to be named Union Point (changed from SouthField by LStar in July 2016). After completion of the development or upon repayment or transfer of SRA’s outstanding debt, SRA will cease to exist. Chapter 291 requires that, in any event, the duties and powers assigned to SRA revert to the Towns of Abington, Rockland, and Weymouth by December 31, 2065.
|Date published:||March 29, 2018|