Dispute between LRA, Developer Continues over Way Forward at NAS South Weymouth

The South Shore Tri-Town Development Corp., the LRA responsible for redeveloping the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth, and its master developer continue to remain at odds over a plan for jump starting development at the base located outside of Boston.

Starwood Land Ventures’ plan, which requires approval by the state Legislature, would strip authority from the LRA and shift responsibility for public services and tax revenue to the surrounding communities of Weymouth, Abington and Rockland. Starwood is trying to gain the support of the three towns and in recent weeks has been negotiating the language of proposed legislation with the mayor of Weymouth, reported the Patriot Ledger.

Local lawmakers have said they will not back the legislation if the base’s three neighboring towns don’t support it.

Last week, Tri-Town sent a letter to the Navy asking it to oppose the developer’s proposal, stating it could jeopardize the 2011 deal between the LRA and the Navy over the transfer of remaining property at the air station.

“The hope is they would join us in saying we don’t want anything to happen unless or until [Starwood] sits down to talk to the public partners, the Navy being one of them,” said Tri-Town CEO Kevin Donovan.

But Starwood Vice President Matthew Barry countered that its plan would not interfere with existing agreements.

“The reality is that SouthField has languished under the management of Tri-Town,” Barry said in a written statement. “The Tri-Town letter appears to be a last ditch, desperate attempt to run out the clock on these necessary changes.”

The standoff comes as progress on commercial development at the base has languished, although home construction began in 2011. Starwood claims its proposed changes are the only way to turn the project around and has said it would abandon the effort if the state fails to approve the legislation by the end of its session on July 31, according to the story.

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