If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? When a neighborhood in development is going the wrong way — that is to say, not developing — many choose to call Kyle Corkum, a managing partner at LStar Management, a company the Massachusetts native formed in 2007, when he accurately foresaw the national housing market going belly-up. As housing projects fell foul to bad investment planning, LStar Management came in with veritable proton guns a-beaming.
Despite the now rigorous local housing market, in March, Corkum got a call from Starwood, the master developers of SouthField, the long beleaguered development on the old South Weymouth naval base, offering him the stalled project. He said no way. “I already knew all about SouthField and I knew the whole thing was so messed up, I turned the offer down flat,” says the South Shore native, who grew up in Attleboro. It wasn’t the massive 1,400-acre property itself that lacked luster; it was the complicated politically hampered set-up behind it. But Starwood called again, this time with some obstacles removed. Corkum saw hope for moving forward and his company bought the troubled housing development.
'Ghostbusters' comes to town
Not long after LStar took over this spring, Corkum received another call: “It was someone asking me if they could work on the new 'Ghostbusters' movie at the site,” he says recalling his astonishment at the time. The plans for SouthField had always included a movie production business with sound stages and production suites. “I wasn’t thinking of going ahead with the movie side, but the 'Ghostbusters' team convinced me that it might be viable. It’s incredible they’ve built this huge lot to look like Times Square, right on an old runway. If the movie making side continues to work, we’ll continue to keep it.”
Ground breaking to go ahead this year
With Pulte Homes of New England on board to break ground on a 200-condominium development later this year, SouthField is back on track. LStar already completed and opened a hockey rink and a baseball field named Little Monsta, and has plans to increase the amount of commercial space from 2 million square feet to up to 3 million, bringing jobs to the South Shore. Corkum is thrilled with the result, which he experiences first hand because although his main home is in North Carolina, he’s taken an apartment at SouthField: “I’m not selling dreams here,” he insists. “This is solid New England thinking and action: Do what you say you’re going to do and get to work.”