The properties of the proposed Winterwoods neighborhood may be cookie cutter, but they’re from a housing mold that has produced some pretty sweet homes already.
The 1,400-acre site of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station has seen a growing mixed-use community in SouthField, home to single-family homes, townhouses and apartments all located a quick commuter rail ride from downtown Boston. Now the neighborhood is expanding even more, adding additional housing to what’s become a desirable enclave for affordable new-build living.
A 32-acre plot is being cleared to make room for the area’s newest neighborhood, Winterwoods, reports Boston.com, which is said will comprise 115 cottages and townhouses scheduled for completion by 2014.
LNR Property LLC, the Florida-based real estate firm at the helm of the former naval base’s redevelopment, and its director of development, Paul Hickey, are reportedly working with engineers and architects to suss out a master design for the new neighborhood.
Canton-based Whitman Homes and Interactive Building Group of Hingham, both of which built houses in SouthField’s first neighborhood, SouthField Highlands, have voiced their interest in building homes in Winterwoods as well.
Similar to the cottages at Hollybrook, a collection of houses under construction in the SouthField Highlands neighborhood–a neighborhood Boston.com reports has 500 residents with a projected total of 650 housing units upon completion–the homes of Winterwoods could feature approximately 1,400 square feet, two bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms, and come with a price tag somewhere in the scope of $300,000.
SouthField promotes itself as a community built on affordability, eco-friendliness and active lifestyles. The complex features 1,000 acres of open space, a 200-acre golf course, miles of bike paths and a modern sports and recreational complex. The website likens the intimate living experience to that of living above the shops on Newbury Street.
The area’s development has allegedly been met with criticisms by some active citizen groups, including the Advocates for Rockland, Abington, Weymouth, and Hingham, who deride the project for breaking ground without first finding its own water supply or waste-water treatment facility. The depressed economy may have taken its toll on the community’s master plan, but properties in many of the neighborhoods are selling well.
When all the bulldozers have cleared out, SouthField “could have as many as 2,855 units of housing and 2 million square feet of commercial space.”
I’m all for creating new neighborhoods to meet the needs of those looking to buy outside of Boston proper, but I’m admittedly wary of pop-up neighborhoods like this one. Sure the site is rich with aeronautical history, but a development like this one is still essentially a swath of pretty green AstroTurf being laid over the top of the uglier, browner grass beneath. I like my cities and towns with buildings that show their age; streets that have seen some action over the years. Living here would remind me of “The Truman Show” when Jim Carrey’s character discovers that his whole world is really just a facade.
I guess every neighborhood has to start somewhere in time, though.
Here’s to hoping SouthField prospers; I hear the golf courses are lovely this time of year.
Take a look at some of SouthField’s current properties below. What do you think about the proposed Winterwoods development?