Construction of 226 apartments is getting underway at SouthField, the massive new development planned for the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station.
The apartments are being built by John M. Corcoran & Co., a Braintree firm that recently bought 6.6 acres at the former military base. The $44.6 million project will include three apartment buildings, one of which will include 8,700 square feet of first-floor retail space.
“We expect people to be moving in about this time next year,’’ said Richard J. High, president of the company.
One of the Boston area’s largest privately owned developers and managers of rental apartments, Corcoran has owned and managed multi-family rental housing in Weymouth since 1970. High said the SouthField project has been in the works for more than two years.
Corcoran chose SouthField because of its proximity to highways and the commuter rail station, and for the potential for growth on the site.
“We’re always looking for superior rental apartment housing sites. SouthField is in our backyard,’’ he said. “We’ve been watching it, as most people on the South Shore have, for a very long time.’’
The Corcoran apartment buildings will be four stories tall and have elevators, and will be built according to the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy Efficient Design requirements.
There will be studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, along with a fitness center, community room, and indoor parking. Using an architectural design known as “new urbanism,’’ their entrances will be built right up to the sidewalk, similar to the brownstones seen in Boston’s Back Bay and South End, according to High.
Corcoran closed the land sale on April 28, recorded the deed on April 29, then pulled permits to start the work, and began pouring concrete this week, he said.
The project is expected to create 200 construction jobs and trigger $1.39 million in so-called host community payments from SouthField’s master developer, LNR Property Corp., to the neighboring towns of Weymouth, Rockland, and Abington.
In a press release announcing the deal, Kevin Chase, regional vice president of LNR Property Corp., said: “Corcoran understands New England and will bring that unique style and high quality craftsmanship to SouthField. This is another great milestone not just for LNR but for the surrounding communities who share in the revenues and new jobs created by development at SouthField.’’
At full build-out, SouthField will include 2,855 units of housing and 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space, which will include a movie studio, golf course, and an athletic complex slated to be developed by soccer player Kristine Lilly and former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette.
Emily Sweeney Boston Globe May 12, 2011