SAN DIEGO-Golden shovels and public officials joined forces last week for The Village at NTC, a new 500-unit townhome community at the former Naval Training Center for military families. The project is part of venture between the military and private sector developers to relieve housing shortages for service personnel.

The Navy’s new partnership is with Lincoln/Clark, a joint venture between Lincoln Property Co. of Dallas and Clark Realty Capital of Bethesda, Md. Lincoln/Clark is developing and managing military family housing for sailors and Marines in the San Diego region.

The partnership has raised more than $260 million for the project that proponents say will improve the quality of life for the thousands of military families confronting long commutes and rents beyond the reach of enlisted personnel. “The economy in San Diego moves faster than the housing allowance,” says Bob Griffin, director of acquisitions for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

The largest initiative yet between the military and private developers — and the first of this size for the Navy — the venture is now managing 2,660 existing family housing units, building the 500 new townhomes at the Naval Training Center and replacing 812 existing units at Cabrillo Heights in Serra Mesa with 900 new units.

When complete, the military family housing portfolio will encompass 3,248 units. As part of that portfolio, The Village at NTC will include 7.2 acres of landscaped open areas; a central park and mini-parks; recreation facilities with tennis courts, a swimming pool and a gym; tot lots; and an elementary school site.

Average monthly rent is about $1,000 per month and includes an allowance for utilities. The first town homes will be marketed beginning in May, with final completion of the community scheduled for November 2003.

First priority for the new town homes will be given to current residents of the Navy’s Cabrillo Heights, which will be razed and rebuilt by the Lincoln/Clark PPV beginning in September 2002.

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