PENTAGON - The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Housing and Partnerships (ODASA IH&P), has made great strides in the effort to close out the remaining 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions over the past quarter, with three major BRAC 2005 sites being transferred.
Two of these sites, Fort Monmouth, N.J. and Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Virginia, were transferred to new owners this quarter, while an agreement was signed with the Commonwealth of Virginia to complete the transfer on the final major BRAC site, Fort Monroe. By divesting of these three installations, the Army is now avoiding almost $28 million in average annual caretaker costs
Toward the end of 2016, the Army transferred 11.84 acres of property at WRAMC to Children's National Medical Center (CNMC). This completes the transfer of the ~100 acre WRAMC campus, save for a very tiny environmental carve out on the DC LRA parcel that is less than a tenth of an acre.
The parcel includes the closed Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) lab, the old Army Medical Museum, and a parking deck, which nearly doubles the current footprint of the Children's National Medical Center. CNMC plans to re-use the AFIP lab for clinical laboratory space to advance medical research for children, as well as repurposing other facilities to aid in the health system's education mission. The deeds were signed by both parties prior to a public ceremony at which Mr. Paul Cramer, DASA IH&P spoke and represented the Army.
The Army also transferred the majority of ~562 acres of Fort Monmouth to the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) on 17 November 2016, in exchange for a check for $33 million. This was 100 percent of the agreed upon sales price for the Economic Development Conveyance (EDC) and no further payments are due. There are numerous environmental carve-out areas on the Phase 2 property which will be transferred as the clean-up is completed and environmental documentation (such as a Finding of Suitability to Transfer or FOST) is finalized. The transfer of Fort Monmouth is estimated to avoid a caretaker expense of about $13.75 million over four years.
As announced by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe last month, the U.S. Army and the Commonwealth of Virginia signed an agreement to transfer the remaining 83 acres of Fort Monroe to the Fort Monroe Authority under an Economic Development Conveyance (EDC). Under the negotiated terms, the Commonwealth will provide in-kind consideration to the Army by delivering road improvement projects, as designated by the Army, to address traffic concerns at Army installations across Virginia. Commonwealth funds for this purpose in the amount of $23.11 million have been appropriated by the Virginia legislature for the Virginia fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016.
Previous BRAC transfers have been successful in creating jobs, restoring property tax bases and allowing the community to realize public benefits that otherwise would not be possible if excess BRAC property lingered under Army ownership. While it is difficult for communities to envision life after BRAC, there are many examples of successful BRAC property reuse and we anticipate a great future for the revitalization of these properties.