Union Point breaks ground on new recreation complex

11 July 2017

Growing up in Weymouth, State Rep. James Murphy said the South Weymouth Naval Air Station was a place for families to gather for the annual air show.

With construction of a $25-million recreation complex spanning 25 acres now underway, Murphy said LStar Management’s redevelopment of the former base is creating a space that Weymouth, Abington and Rockland residents can enjoy once again.

“This isn’t a place that’s a separate entity,” Murphy, a Weymouth Democrat, said. “This is becoming increasingly a part of each one of our towns.”

LStar representatives, local and state officials and players and leaders from several sports organizations gathered Monday, July 10 at Union Point, formerly called SouthField, to celebrate the start of work on the complex.

The complex will include three multi-use turf fields with domes, a regulation turf rugby field, outdoor basketball and pickleball courts, a Wiffle ball field, a park with a playground, a dog park and a full-service restaurant. The existing gym will be completely redone as well.

Kyle Corkum, CEO and managing partner of LStar Communities, said recreation complexes are a much needed resource on the South Shore, and sports help create the sense of community he and his team hope to bring to Union Point.

″(Sports) teach kids about collaboration and partnership, and sacrificing for the common good. They bring people together, families together and communities together,” he said. “For us, this isn’t just another project. This is a community building resource that’s not just important to Union Point and the towns of Weymouth, Rockland and Abington, but the South Shore as a whole.”

Corkum said the fields and courts will be operational within 90 days, and the restaurant and gym will be done by next spring.

Since taking control of the property in the spring of 2015, North-Carolina developer LStar has made strides in delivering on a vision for the site more than a decade in the making.

The two previous master developers, LNR Property Corp. and Starwood Land Ventures, frequently clashed with local officials. In 2014, the former oversight agency South Shore Tri-Town Development Corp. voted to fire Starwood as master developer.

That same year, the Legislature reset the project’s timelines and oversight by creating the SouthField Redevelopment Authority, replacing Tri-Town as the oversight agency. The move rejuvenated the project and set the stage for LStar to take over.

Weymouth Town Council President and State Sen. Patrick O’Connor called the project a “once in a generation opportunity” that will bring new jobs and economic growth to the South Shore.

“Behind us, those are jobs,” he said, pointing to the construction crews. “Those are people going to work every single day, working on a project, working on a vision.”

In addition to being available to the community, the recreation facility will host several sports organizations, including Global Premier Soccer, Laxachusetts and Boston Rugby Club.

Joe Bradley, CEO of Global Premier Soccer, said he has visited countless facilities, and it’s “unheard of” to have four turf fields in one location, especially three having domes.

“That separates this as a leading facility in North America,” he said.