The future of privatized housing: What's next for Fort Belvoir's residential community?
February 28, 2014
Fort Belvoir, Va. (Feb. 27, 2014) - Fort Belvoir's housing was privatized in 2003, and since then, nearly all of the original homes on post have been renovated or replaced through a partnership with Clark Realty Capital, LLC.
Clark and Fort Belvoir's joint venture, Fort Belvoir Residential Communities, entered into a 50-year partnership to improve housing options for military Families here, in keeping with the Army-wide Residential Communities Initiative.
Now that the 8-year initial development period, or IDP, is over, FBRC looks toward the next phase of development: renovating Dogue Creek Village.
"We're now in what's called the ?'Out Year' phase, where we're continuing to be stewards of the property and really saving up for that next phase to go implement some more renovations," said Casey Nolan, a Project Director for Clark Realty Capital."Our focus in the next phase of the project will be to continue improvements in Dogue Creek Village. That will be the first neighborhood in the ?'Out Years' to get a major overhaul."
Before the new construction starts in the next 5-10 years, however, the FBRC will focus on converting any remaining two-bedroom units into five-bedroom homes and replacing or renovating homes that could not be replaced during the IDP, according to John Scharl, program manager for the Privatization and Partnerships Division, Installation Services Directorate at the Department of the Army Headquarters.
Once this is done, future construction projects include developing the Woodlawn East/Berman Tract area, expanding the town center on 12th Street and developing the land across from the town center in Herryford Village.
"The development in Woodlawn East and Town Center II will clear the way for the planned redevelopment and potential new homes for Dogue (Creek Village) in the years to come," Scharl said.
"Additionally, FBRC will continue to aggressively look at opportunities for energy and water efficiency upgrades for the project," he added, which will build on award-winning measures already in place.
Last November, the FBRC completed a fitness center and two pilot renovations in Dogue Creek, converting two two-bedroom homes into five-bedroom homes, Nolan said. A military Family is living in one now, providing feedback about the renovations before the rest of the project gets underway.
During this ?'out-year' phase, community members won't see as much housing construction as they did five years ago, but that doesn't mean improvements aren't constantly being done, Nolan added.
"If you were here five years ago, you'd see construction all over the place. We were delivering 200-300 homes a year, whether they were new construction or renovations. Now, the construction you see is not housing related -- it's just other Army projects. But that doesn't mean that we're not here taking care of the houses. Every year we have a capital improvement budget to go paint homes, replace carpet, and replace air conditioners and appliances. We spend $1.5 to $2 million a year just doing that, on top of all the regular maintenance and expenses," he said.
There are still 40 years to go for the FBRC partnership, but Nolan said there is a 25-year option for the partnership to continue after that, if necessary.
"If, 40 years from now, the government still wants to outsource the privatization of housing, we could stick around for another 25 years, but if they don't, then the government takes back over housing and the partnership dissolves," he said.
In the meantime, Nolan plans to help the FBRC continue to deliver high-quality homes and resident programs to community Families.
"I think Fort Belvoir has been a leader in innovation and I hope we'll continue to do so, but we're never satisfied. We're always looking to improve not only the design of our homes, but also the customer services and resident satisfaction," Nolan said.