DUBLIN, Calif. -- The U.S. Army Reserve and SunCal, the largest privately held land developer in the U.S., signed the largest-ever real property exchange agreement April 8 to enable development of an Army Reserve complex in the greater San Francisco Bay area - without impact on the federal budget.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District's real estate division managed the deal on behalf of the Army Reserve.

In the agreement, SunCal will build new military facilities at Parks Reserve Forces Training Area in Dublin in exchange for 180 acres of land at the same facility. That land will be developed into a master-planned community alongside Parks.

"Seeing the community engagement here is so special," said Brig. Gen. Jon D. Lee, 63rd Regional Support Command commanding general, during yesterday's ceremony. "It's a great opportunity for us - this growth of our facility and these improvements for our soldiers."

Through a multi-phase schedule, Parks will gain a new main gate and administrative building for base police; a 33,000-square-foot area maintenance support facility; a 33,000-square-foot regional medical training facility; a 42,000-square-foot Army Reserve training facility; a 40,000- square-foot public works and logistics warehouse; and a variety of road and utilities infrastructure construction and improvements. Parks is the only training facility within a short drive for some 11,000 reservists in the San Francisco region.

Real estate specialists from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District worked alongside Army Reserve leaders for several years to bring this carefully-crafted agreement to fruition.

"Determining the scope of work needed by the Army Reserve, determining what the exchange partner would get in return and coordinating with the city of Dublin" was a complicated task, said Sacramento District real estate specialist Jeremy Hollis, project manager for the Parks exchange. Stan Wallin, chief of the acquisitions and management branch, calls the agreement "a real win-win-win solution for the Corps, our reservists and SunCal."

The exchange process began in earnest when more than 150 investors, contractors, developers and other interested parties attended an "Industry Day" to launch the Army's search in 2007. SunCal was notified of their selection in September 2008 and a letter of agreement was signed in January 2009 - leading to yesterday's signing of the official exchange agreement.

On the 180 acres it receives, SunCal will develop Dublin Crossing, a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use community that will connect the east and west sides of town currently separated by Camp Parks.

"We're excited to continue working with SunCal as we partner to bring new jobs, shops, restaurants and homes, plus parks and trails, to Dublin," said Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti. "This new neighborhood is a significant part of our city's future."

The Real Property Exchange Program is conducted under the authority of Title 10, U.S. Code, Section 18240, as amended. Commonly known as the "exchange authority," this legislation permits Department of Defense reserve components to convey certain real property assets to states, local governments, local authorities, or private parties in exchange for facility or facilities, existing or to be constructed, including utilities, equipment and furnishings for the facilities.

The facilities - including any utilities, equipment, furnishings, and any additional value offered to be converted to facilities by U.S. Army Reserve - must be of a combined value at least equal to the fair market value of the property to be conveyed, as determined by the government.