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GLENVIEW, IL-The redevelopment of the former Naval Air Station here into a 1,121-acre, $400-million mixed-use project is being used as an object lesson for military bases that are being closed around the US. The National Association of Installation Developers will study the redevelopment of the Naval Air Station when it begins a four-day meeting here this weekend.

Instead of $73 million in land sales, the village expects the total to hit $200 million, says village of Glenview director of economic redevelopment Don Owen. Local schools could reap as much as $4 million a year in additional property tax revenue, he adds.

The Naval Air Station was closed in 1993, in the third of four rounds of base closings. The timing helped the redevelopment effort, Owen says. The Defense Department learned from previous mistakes, he adds, and gave municipalities more power to redevelop closed bases quickly.

The upscale suburb already had annexed the base into the village’s boundaries, and was able to sell a $60-million bond issue in two weeks, Owens says. The naval base also did not require any environmental remediation, he adds.

“It’s our last big chance to do something of such scale that could make a difference,” Owens says. “We wanted to make the community better, and we did.”

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