The Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville is Redstone Arsenal’s latest tenant, making its new home in the secure area of Redstone Gateway, the 468-acre mixed-use development adjacent to Gate 9.
The three-story, 205,000-square-foot building 300 is the “Corps of Engineers newest and most capable facility to date,” the center’s Commander Col. Sebastien Joly said Jan. 9 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the building’s warehouse.
“We’re absolutely excited to become full members of Team Redstone here on the Arsenal,” Joly, who assumed command of the center in July 2021, said. “This facility allows us to consolidate 16 different leases into one, finally all co-located and meeting all force protection requirements and safety requirements for the very first time.
“This facility marks the next chapter in an amazing history (of the agency) and we look forward to continuing to expand our reach and impact supporting the warfighter and our national defense. Building Strong, Army Strong,” he said to applause and cheers from current and former employees and visitors who gathered for the ceremony.
“This is a great experience for us at Redstone to introduce you as the newest tenant on Redstone,” Garrison Commander Col. Brian Cozine said.
“On behalf of Lt. Gen. (Chris) Mohan, the senior commander for Redstone, and the entire workforce, it’s my privilege to welcome the Huntsville Center and its workforce behind the gates of Redstone Arsenal,” he said. “We’re proud to have you occupy a part of the secure portion of our Enhanced Use Lease.”
The then-Huntsville Division began operations in 1967, supporting the Army Ballistic Missile Defense program from its original location at the Huntsville Industrial Center building on Meridian Street in Huntsville. After several moves, the center was temporarily based in Thornton Research Park. Under the Army Corps of Engineers reorganization, Huntsville Division became Huntsville Center in 1994.
Cozine said the center’s move into the Redstone facility consolidates its workforce under one roof, provides a more secure environment for the staff and allows the center to further develop relationships with other Team Redstone organizations.
“It also provides Huntsville Center the opportunity to capitalize on shared resources while increasing visibility among Team Redstone, the Army and the entire Department of Defense,” he said.
Since it launched operations, “Huntsville Center has continually contributed to the success of Redstone Arsenal, from cleaning polluted sites of the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge that overlap the installation, to supporting NASA’s space shuttle program to completing a $7 million HVAC renovation at Fox Army Health Center,” Cozine said. “Most recently, you installed the solar-powered vehicle charging stations across the Arsenal.”
The center is also involved in the design of the Army’s new access control points and entrance gates.
“And now you get to use it every day,” he said.
Redstone Gateway is a joint venture development between COPT Defense Properties and Jim Wilson & Associates LLC. COPT Defense is the managing partner of the joint venture, responsible for developing, leasing and managing the office complex at Redstone Gateway, with JWA leasing the retail amenities. The land is under a long-term master lease to the partners through the Enhanced Use Lease program.
Stephen Budorick, the president and chief executive officer of COPT Defense Properties, said the facility was custom designed to “to meet the mission requirements of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (whose) missions literally span the globe.”
“Your mission success is our mission,” he said. “Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it.”
With the completion of the center’s building, “Redstone Gateway now contains 2.6 million square feet in 23 properties that are 97% leased,” Budorick said.
Will Wilson, president of Jim Wilson & Associates, said that in July 2009, with the signing of the EUL agreement, “the seed was planted for Redstone Gateway, an outstanding business park on the EUL site.”
The goal is to “serve the needs of Redstone Arsenal, the Huntsville/Madison County community and our great country,” Wilson said.