Beale unveils development |

Beale unveils development

Beale Air Force Base officials unveiled plans for an overhaul of on-base housing to hundreds of military families Wednesday night.

Beale has hired American Eagle Communities, a private development company, to construct 585 new homes and renovate an additional 759 aging homes. About 209 houses will be demolished. The company will also construct a new community center, playgrounds and a sports complex, Capt. Mike Andrews said.

The residential area will occupy about 1,000 of the base’s 23,000 acres, said Ed Ah Sam, a top base civil engineer.

Ah Sam called the planned development “first class” and said American Eagle was providing the “very best value” for the government.

American Eagle will lease the property for 50 years, but the Air Force will retain ownership of the land. Housing will be allocated to military personnel and families.

Base personnel can choose to live on or off-base, Ah Sam said.

The homes, which range from 1,600 to 2,900 square feet, will be leased to military families for the cost of a family’s monthly housing allotment. A military family may be able to acquire a three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot home for $900 a month, said Kathryn Thompson, the managing director of American Eagle.

The Beale Air Force Base’s divestment of most of its on-base housing is part of a larger Air Force-wide project to transfer base housing to private firms.

Due to the military’s plan to consolidate its bases, there is a chance Beale could potentially be closed. Thompson said a base closure would not be a problem for American Eagle because it projects the housing would be desired by the general public within three years.

Base closures will be announced in May 2005.

Construction on the homes is expected to begin this winter, Thompson said.

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