South

South Weymouth

Corcoran plans to build more apartments at SouthField

Braintree-based John M. Corcoran & Co. recently unveiled plans to break ground on 72 new apartments at SouthField, the community being built at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station.

The $18.2 million building will be part of the Commons at Southfield Highlands, a 226-unit apartment complex that Corcoran opened there in May 2012. Construction is expected to be complete in summer 2014; Corcoran would then have 298 apartments at SouthField.

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The announcement comes at a tumultuous time for the SouthField project.

If all goes according to plan, the former base that straddles the towns of Abington, Rockland, and Weymouth will someday contain up to 2,855 homes, 2 million feet of commercial space, an 18-hole golf course, and athletic facilities. But developing the 1,400-acre site has taken longer than expected, and commerial development has been lacking.

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South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation, the agency overseeing the redevelopment, came under fire recently, with state Auditor Suzanne M. Bump criticizing its management of the project and calling for a shakeup in leadership. At the same time, LNR Property LLC, the master developer of SouthField, was recently acquired by another company, and many wonder how the new ownership might affect future development of the site.

Corcoran is pushing ahead with its plan to build the 72 units of “luxe eco-living” at the Commons — a positive sign, says Kevin Donovan, chief executive officer of Tri-Town. “It shows continued commitment to the project, and that we’re proceeding forward,” he said.

The new apartments will feature wood floors, granite countertops, a roof deck , a “WiFi café,” and an outdoor patio . Rents and square footage have not been finalized yet, according to a company spokeswoman.

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Corcoran has found success with its 226-unit apartment complex that opened last year at SouthField. The apartments, which feature low-flow toilets, shower heads, and faucets, as well as energy-efficient lighting and appliances, recently achieved silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the US Green Building Council.

Approximately 90 to 95 percent of the 226 units are leased, said Peter Mahoney, Corcoran’s senior project director.

“The first phase went very well,’’ said Mahoney, ‘’and we still have confidence in the SouthField project as a whole. We still think it’s a good project, and one that makes sense for us.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.
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