By John B. SnyderSeptember 11, 2008
WATERVLIET ARSENAL (Sept. 11, 2008) Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, explained today to more than 30 private sector developers and to the City of Watervliet Mayor Michael Manning the bid proposal process for Watervliet Arsenal property.
During an all-day Enhanced Use Leasing Industry Forum conducted at a local Holiday Inn and at the Arsenal, the Corps of Engineers explained the EUL program and how that program will apply to the Arsenal.
The EUL program will allow the Arsenal to offer up to 57 acres of selected land and facilities for private development in exchange for rental value to be returned to the Army in the form of in-kind services.
Bob Penn, the Corps of Engineers EUL program director, said that these types of forums generate a lot of excitement for business developers and for the community.
"Usually these forums take place after months of speculation that only heighten anticipation on the military installation, as well as in the local community," said Penn.
"I do not know how to measure the value of today's face-to-face engagement with potential developers and the Arsenal leadership but it had to be very productive," Penn added.
Penn said that industry forums across the United States offer potential land developers a first-hand look at the available government property, as well as to provide developers a personal contact with the project manager who will see them through the process.
Manning said the Arsenal has been the fabric of the Watervliet community for nearly 200 years. "Even our high school mascot is called Cannoneer, which should speak to the close relationship the City of Watervliet has with the Arsenal," Manning added.
"The Arsenal is key to the revitalization of the community," said Manning. And the EUL program offers the Arsenal and the city a win-win business opportunity, Manning added.
Arsenal Deputy Commander Ed McCarthy said this is a potential win-win-win situation for the Army, the local community, and for a future developer.
"Not only will the Arsenal generate in-kind services from the developed land and facilities, but also the development of the Arsenal property should create jobs for the local community. And developers win because they will have access to a secure installation that is like a city within a city," added McCarthy. The Arsenal has its own fire department, security force, and waste treatment plant.
EUL, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, allows a developer access to a secured government site for business development. Since 2001, the Army has identified 31 EUL project sites and as of May 2008, 10 Army installations have signed leases.
With EUL, the Arsenal can enter into a long-term lease, typically between 25-50 years, with developers in exchange for in-kind services, vice a rental cash payment, to help meet its maintenance, sustainment, and quality of life objectives. The Corps of Engineers will determine the Fair Market Value of the Arsenal property under consideration while negotiating a land management plan with the selected developer prior to signing the lease.
Operations and maintenance budgets for Army installations have been in decline for several years and so, in-kind services will allow the Arsenal to better maintain, rehabilitate, or remove facilities on the remaining 87 acres of Arsenal property.
Watervliet Arsenal is the nation's oldest and, in many ways, newest military manufacturing facility. Founded in 1813 to support the "Second War for Independence," the War of 1812, the Arsenal has been a valuable resource to war fighters ever since.
The Arsenal is also home to numerous military and civilian tenant organizations, 31 in all. The largest tenant is BenAfAt Laboratories, a Malcolm Baldrige Award winning laboratory whose mission includes research, design, and production of military ordnance.
In October 2008, the Arsenal will hold a grand opening for its newest civilian tenant, Vistec Lithography, Inc. Vistec, a leading international supplier of lithography equipment used by semiconductor manufactures, has just completed moving its headquarters operations from Cambridge, England to the Arsenal. The move has created more than 45 jobs at the Arsenal.