Bases select developer for housing privatization project

CNJ staff

A group of six Air Force bases, which includes Cannon Air Force Base, has selected a developer for a $470 million housing privatization project.

Cannon will receive 1,038 homes in the Joe Cannon Estates and Chavez housing area — 677 new homes and 361 renovations on houses at Chavez West — through a deal with Belfour Beatty Communitiies.

The development will provide 4,761 new and renovated homes for military personnel at Cannon, Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D.; Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.; Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.; Minot Air Force Base, N.D., and Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

All of the 677 new homes at Cannon will be three- or four-bedroom homes with two-car garages and at least 1,680 square feet of living space.

The project, according to an Air Force release, will include a 5,000-square-foot community center with a swimming pool in the Chavez housing area, neighborhood center with splash-park in the Joe Cannon Estates housing area, new playgrounds, volleyball courts, lighted tennis courts, and walking trails.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by spring 2015.

A series of town hall meetings will be scheduled over the next several months at each base to explain these changes and housing options to base residents. Cannon is still working out just how many meetings will take place, said 1st Lt. Raymond Gobberg of Cannon’s Public Affairs Office, but there will be multiple meetings.

The effort to privatize military housing began in 1996 when Congress created the Military Housing Privatization Initiative as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The goal was to provide military members with quality homes faster than through military construction alone.

Gobberg said the base has no figures on how much of the $470 million will go to Cannon because that paperwork is not finalized, but he said Cannon has more rebuilds and new builds than any other base in the group.