SAN ANTONIO-The executive who led the effort to turn Kelly Air Force Base into a commercial facility has been named developer of the year by the National Association of Installation Developers.

Paul Roberson was executive director of the Greater Kelly Redevelopment Authority from 1996 until earlier this month when he retired. The based was decommissioned in 2000 and formally opened as KellyUSA last year.

The NAID cited Roberson’s leadership in the conversion process. KellyUSA has about 50 tenants with about 12,500 jobs. The organization also said Roberson saved money for the local community by arguing that the property be transferred from the federal government at no local cost.

The South San Antonio facility still has a way to go before it fills its 4.4 million sf of industrial space, which is about 25% occupied. It has signed several large tenants this year and Grubb & Ellis estimates that it should reach occupancy levels in line with the rest of the market in about two years.

NAID, based in Washington, DC, represents closed military bases, acting as an advocate for their redevelopment. It also recognized KellyUSA for marketing efforts.

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