1,000-Room Lodging Project at Fort Lee in Virginia Moves Forward with Selection of Builder
- Jun 10, 2010
June 10, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Few developers would even conceive of moving forward with a 1,000-room hotel project, but the U.S. Army is doing just that. The military branch’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command has tapped The Korte Company to spearhead design-build responsibilities for a $120 million temporary lodging facility at Fort Lee, about 30 miles south of Richmond, Va.
St. Louis, Mo.-headquartered Korte’s contract is valued at $86 million. The seven-story lodge will be located on base, adjacent to the Army Logistics University, and will serve as a hotel of sorts to help transition soldiers and their families to and from Fort Lee. Given the government’s requirement that all new construction projects meet certain minimum sustainability requirements, the building will be developed to adhere to LEED Silver certification standards.
Fort Lee is going to need the extra accommodations. According to Fort Lee Public Affairs, the base’s average daily population will grow from a current 17,000 to over 48,000 by 2015 as a result of the U.S. Department of Defense’s 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process.
BRAC is inciting new development projects–both government and private–on and around a bevy of military bases across the country. At Fort Belvoir in Northern Virginia, about 20 miles south of Washington, D.C., a total of $4 billion will be spent on 20 on-base projects accounting for 6.2 million square feet of building space and 7 million square feet of parking accommodations. At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, the BRAC mandate will result in the construction and renovation of approximately 1 million square feet of on-base space at a cost of $332 million.
The private sector is very much involved in the accommodating BRAC-induced development demand. Private projects include a massive endeavor recently announced by Columbia, Md.-based Corporate Office Properties Trust. The REIT formed a joint venture with Montgomery, Ala.-based real estate concern Jim Wilson & Associates L.L.C. to develop the 4.6 million-square-foot Redstone Gateway mixed-use business park in Huntsville, near the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Northern Alabama. Redstone Arsenal’s on-base worker population is expected to mushroom from 4,700 to 30,000 due to the BRAC process.