Balfour Beatty Moving Forward with $168M Military Housing Project

Financing has been secured for the $168 million military family housing project at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., where Balfour Beatty Communities will be providing 850 homes, including 610 new units. The financing will be used for the design, development and construction and renovation of military housing at the base. At the end of the five-year development plan, Balfour Beatty will have built 610 new units, renovated or converted 119 and made capital improvements to another 121. The units are a mix of townhomes and single-family residences. As reported Aug. 8 by CPN, Balfour Beatty has a property management agreement and a 50-year ground lease with the U.S. Army. It will also receive fees for management and maintenance services provided to the existing 1,162 family housing units at Fort Jackson. Citing the “extraordinary volatility of the financial markets,” Bruce Robinson, Balfour Beatty president & CEO, said Tuesday he was extremely pleased that the team, including the Army, was able to secure the financing and move forward with construction. The company’s team will include Niles Bolton and Associates, an Atlanta-based architectural and engineering firm, and Balfour Beatty Construction, also of Atlanta. The company was not available by press time to provide details on the financing, but a Sept. 17 news release from Fitch Ratings stated bonds were being sold for the project. The Fort Jackson Housing L.L.C. Military Housing (SC) Tax Revenue Bonds had an initial rating of ‘A’ in July, but were revised to ‘AA-’ after the original bonds did not sell, according to the Fitch release. The revised bonds were expected to close on or about Sept. 29. The proceeds of the 2008 A bonds were going toward development and renovation of the units, funding for reserves and funds to pay costs of issuance, according to Fitch. The ratings firm also noted that the U.S. Army was contributing $58.9 million in equity and Balfour Beatty was providing $3 million. Fitch noted Balfour Beatty’s extensive experience in military housing and called it a “positive factor” in rating the bonds. Based in Newtown Square, Penn., Balfour Beatty performs similar services for housing projects at 42 other military installations in the United States for the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force. CPN reported Aug. 6 that Balfour Beatty was tapped for a $207 million project at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where it will ultimately provide 824 units of housing. A July 25 CPN report noted that the firm had signed an agreement with the Air Force for a seven-year development project valued at $410 million that would involve 2,435 units at three bases in Oklahoma, Washington and California.