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WEYMOUTH, MA-Demolition is expected to begin this fall on a portion of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station, paving the way for the start of an ambitious mixed-use project. The plans will turn the mothballed air station into two million sf of retail and office space and 2,855 homes and condos.

Terry Fancher, executive director with the South Shore Tri-Town Development Corp., tells GlobeSt.com that the group plans to meet next week with master developer LNR Property Co. of Miami. Hammering out plans for the demolition of a military gate and guardhouse, opening the door for construction to begin on the site as early as this spring, will be the first order of business. The South Shore Tri-Town Development is the agency responsible for overseeing the former base’s redevelopment.

“Right now, we’re just talking about demolition,” Fancher says of the meeting. The SSTTDC transferred ownership of 549 acres at the 1,440-acre military base to LNR earlier this summer. The local development group is currently negotiating to buy 835 additional acres for the project from the Navy.

LNR did not return calls from GlobeSt.com seeking comment. A according to preliminary plans for the site, the Miami development company expects to build “an environmentally sensitive, community-focused” project that would create a Village Center surrounded by clusters of neighborhoods, recreational options and commercial and retail space on the site over a 12-year period. Nearly 75% of the base would be preserved as open space with walking trails, nature areas, bike paths, playing fields, a golf course and a family sports complex, LNR says in materials outlining the project.

The project itself will be designed around “a network of pedestrian-friendly streets and neighborhoods with cafes, shops and civic areas designed to capture a Main Street experience,” LNR says in an outline of the development. The firm also plans to gear its commercial space to light industrial uses such as the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, along with traditional corporate tenants and small businesses.

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