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WEYMOUTH, MA-The South Shore Tri-Town Development Corp., which is responsible for overseeing the development process of the former Naval Air Station here, terminated the purchase and sale agreement with Mills Corp. The Virginia-based development company had planned to build a $250-million regional mall on a 155-acre parcel. The mall was to have been the centerpiece of the 1,450-acre property.

According to Mary Cordeiro, assistant to Tri-Town Corp. executive director Kenneth Goff, the Mills plan had specific timetables that couldn’t be met. “Their plan hinged upon developing connector roads to Routes 3 and 18 but the state decided to accelerate improvements to Route 18 first,” she tells GlobeSt.com. It was also clear from the scope of work filed by the state environmental regulators that a mall was not going to be easily permitted. “They made it quite a restrictive process,” says Cordeiro. “They felt that a mall was not going to be environmentally friendly.” In addition, Cordeiro acknowledges that the local opposition to developing a retail mall on the site was “part of the decision.”

Tri-Town might consider another, smaller Mills proposal but many local groups are against any future involvement of Mills Corp. with the former Naval Station. At least five other developers have already contacted the Tri-Town to present their proposals for developing the site.

MassTech Center LLC is the first of the new developers to present its proposal. The Hingham-based company wants to convert a large portion of the base to a high-tech complex. “There are no opinions yet on anyone’s presentations,” says Cordeiro. “We are waiting to hear from everyone.” Goff is in the process of establishing a team to review all inquiries and proposals. The team will report to the Tri-Town’s board of directors, which will meet next on Jan. 11.

As part of the reuse plan that was approved by the town, the former Naval Station must incorporate retail stores, up to 700 units of senior housing, light industry and research and development and open spaces.

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