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DENVER-From June 4 to June 7, Denver will host the annual the Association of Defense Communities convention. Record attendance is expected at the convention, whose members come from all types of people involved with military bases, says Tom Markham, president of the group. Markham also is the executive director of the Lowry Redevelopment Authority, the former US Air Force Base in southeast Denver.

The conference is expected to draw at least 1,000 people, Markham says. “There will certainly be references throughout the sessions to the base closings,” Markham tells GlobeSt.com. “We will have tours of Lowry and of Fitzsimons (a former Army Hospital in Aurora being converted to a multi-billion hospital, medical research and teaching, and bio-tech center.) Lowry and Fitzsimons are considered leaders in base redevelopments.”

Although Lowry is being developed into a $1 billion-plus mixed-use community, where people, live, work and recreate, it still has about 3,100 jobs associated with the military. Although the Air Reserve Personnel Center on the Lowry campus will mostly be transferred to the Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Markham thinks Lowry will show a net gain of 53 civilian jobs when it is all said and done. And, of course, Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, will be the big gainer for the state, with almost 5,000new troops.

Cities that are seeing bases closed will have their work cut out for them, Markham tells GlobeSt.com, referring to the national scope of closings and realignments. For a community, a base closure is more than a real estate transaction, he says. It’s about people, their jobs and their way of life. Even communities that are seeing huge job gains will have problems, he notes. “An example is Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas,” he says. “It’s going to get a total gain of 11,500 personnel and the pressure is on the schools and housing will be a unique problem to deal with.”

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