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Is SouthField development actually happening?

Developers hope the former naval base in Weymouth, unused for half a century, will open to new <br />residents in two months.

The first homes at SouthField are now for sale. They aren’t quite finished, but already potential buyers are viewing these newly built one- and two-bedroom houses, which range from $300,000 to $400,000, and eyeing July move-in dates. They will be the first residents of this redevelopment of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station, which is currently the largest real estate development in New England.

Since 2002, SouthField has slowly taken shape as a self-contained, so-called “smart growth” community spread over 1,400 acres, of which 70 percent is open space. The smart-growth model provides a village-type center where most of the homes — which range from rental apartments to single-family to senior-living facilities — will be concentrated. This town square ideal will include 200,000 square feet of retail space featuring national and local stores. The green space will include recreational facilities such as playing fields for traditional sports activities and an 18-hole golf course. One unique facet of this development is SouthField Studios, a full-service film facility including soundstages and editing suites.

“I call this my third child,” says Kevin Chase, regional vice president for developers LNR Property Corporation.

Chase has been on board since 2005.

“I named it, I designed it,” he says proudly. “This is a unique situation which will bring a huge amount of jobs to the area.”

By the time the project wraps, in approximately 2020, Chase says he expects that SouthField will also be a destination that draws nonresidents.

“We are building a community, but we are building a facility for this area, too,” he says.

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