Base Property and Historical Use
Located 12 miles south of Boston, the Naval Air Station South Weymouth was originally conceived as the Navy’s northeastern most lighter-than-air station. The Naval Expansion Act of 1940 authorized the acquisition and construction of NAS South Weymouth. Construction of a steel hangar began in September of 1941 and rose from an area that was predominantly woods and swamp. A second hangar made of timber was constructed in 1943 and peat bogs were excavated to a depth of 20 feet to allow for the necessary structural footings to support the massive structure. The original land area of 1257 acres bridged the boundaries of the three communities of Weymouth, Abington, and Rockland. The site was put in caretaker status at the end of World War II, yet was reactivated in the early 1950’s when the functions and assets from the nearby Squantum Naval Airbase were reassigned to South Weymouth.
Closure date, planned reuses, parcels transferred
The Naval Air Station was selected for closure during the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC 1995) program. The host communities of Weymouth, Rockland and Abington established a planning LRA called the Naval Air Station Planning Committee. After nearly two years of public planning meetings culminating in a classic New England town meeting vote in each host community, a reuse plan that centered on a large retail development was approved. The implementing LRA was also established and called the South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation (SSTTDC). In May, 2003 the Navy transferred 549 acres to SSTTDC, 323 by EDC and 226 by PBC via the National Park Service. Other parcel transfers include the 628 acre offshore bombing range known as Nomans Land Island to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a wildlife habitat, 56 acres to the Coast Guard for a buoy maintenance depot and family housing area and 0.5 acres to the Federal Aviation Administration for a Doppler weather radar site that supports Boston’s Logan International Airport. In 2005, an additional 28 acres was disposed in Quincy, MA by negotiated sale for $2.8 million for use as senior citizen housing. Also in 2005 a revised Reuse Plan for the former NAS South Weymouth was developed and substantially altered the initial reuse plan from retail to residential which in turn required Navy to seek fair Market value for the land. In December 2011, 688 acres were conveyed.
Remaining Disposal Actions
Remaining land at NAS South Weymouth consists of 115 acres and will be transferred as environmental cleanup work is completed.