On August 12, 2010, the South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation (SSTDC) issued $12,550,000 of Infrastructure Development Revenue Bonds to fund a portion of the public infrastructure needs for SouthField, a phased village-style mixed-use community. Located on the site of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station, the development will include homes, offices, restaurants, retail shops, a golf course, turf athletic fields, an ice-skating rink, and a movie studio complex. LNR Property Corp., a Florida-based real estate company, is the master developer of the project. Whitman Homes and Interactive Building Group plan to start construction this fall on 60 homes in what will become SouthField’s first residential village, called Southfield Highlands.

Of Counsel Davis Malm attorney Hal Davis drafted changes to the legislation allowing SSTDC, a public corporation, to issue special assessment bonds to finance infrastructure needs. The bonds will be repaid through special assessments or betterment fees on the SouthField real estate. Hal and fellow Davis Malm attorney Bill Griffin developed this innovative financing technique that provides property owners non-recourse, long term, tax-exempt financing for project infrastructure. Davis Malm created this form of financing in 1984 by drafting special legislation enabling the East Bedford Industrial Sewer District to fund a sewer extension supported by the Town of Bedford but without liability to the Town. Similar legislation was enacted in 2004 to fund infrastructure in a new industrial park in Taunton and for the North Point development in Cambridge.

Hal and Bill played a major role in drafting the bill that would create a new chapter in the Massachusetts General Laws allowing municipalities to finance infrastructure improvements within local development zones through tax-exempt bonds secured by special assessments on property in the development zone. This legislation has the potential to attract billions of dollars of private investment in local infrastructure without burdening state and local budgets. Forty other states have general legislation on the books permitting special assessment financing.

For more information contact: Joanne Thorud; (617) 589-3894; jthorud@davismalm.com

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