Monterey Bay Military Housing, operated by Clark Realty Capital, began phase one of a 10-year plan to develop new housing for service members and their families in the Monterey area.
Demolition of 180 legacy units in Lower Stilwell at Ord Military Community began in January. They will be replaced with 151 single-family homes and duplexes equipped with modern fixtures and improved amenities. The project includes eight Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant homes for wounded warriors or family members with disabilities.
Jose Cruz, development associate with Clark Realty Capital, said they are not just replacing the old homes with new homes, but are focused on building a community that will improve quality-of-life for service members and their families. In addition to new modern homes, residents will enjoy a community center, fitness trail, sports courts, children's playground and dog park.
"Our mission is to provide the best quality housing we can for our service members," said Cruz. "We love seeing families out walking their dogs, kids riding their bikes, and residents out talking with neighbors."
Cruz added, "We've taken a lot of our lessons learned from all of our other projects. Clark is not only here in Monterey -- we've got Belvoir, Benning and Irwin. So we have collaborated with those [offices] -- taken lessons learned from them, and implemented their ideas as well."
The new Lower Stilwell neighborhood will feature new infrastructure, new roads, a storm water retention pond and a buffer zone to move houses away from Highway 1.
"Some legacy units butt-up to the highway, so there's a lot of road noise," said Cruz. "We programmed in a buffer zone, so when we build the rest of Lower Stilwell, we will have a nice buffer that will take some of the road noise and dirt out of the equation."
Phase one is scheduled to be complete in fall 2021. The new homes are expected to be move-in ready shortly thereafter.
February last year, Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper directed an inspection of privatized housing at all Army installations to assess the response and effectiveness of privatized housing partners. The inspection was in response to growing concerns from service members and their families who were experiencing challenges with military housing.
"I know there's been a lot of bad news, but I would say we have definitely heard our residents and we are implementing the lessons learned. It will be exciting to see new families moving in," Cruz said.
Clark Realty Capital holds a 50-year ground lease to manage military properties in the Monterey area. The company sub-contracts the Michaels Organization that manages the Parks at Monterey Bay.