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NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA-The Department of the Army has selected the GMH Military Housing division of GMH Communities Trust to design, construct and manage single-solider housing at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX and Fort Stewart in Hinesville, GA. The two projects are among the first Army housing privatization initiatives targeted to unaccompanied personnel. A GMH spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com the complexes are valued at $30 million each.

The awards are part of a fast-track program to provide improved housing for single soldiers carrying the rank of SSG E-6, which is staff sergeant, or above. The decision follows a Sept. 19 conference call during which Gary Holloway Sr., CEO of locally based GMH, said the company’s military housing division “intends to pursue single-soldier housing in addition to our ongoing military family housing.” According to today’s statement, GMH will begin negotiations “within the next several weeks” with the Army to construct up to 470 one- and two-bedroom apartments for unaccompanied soldiers at Fort Bliss and up to 370 such units at Fort Stewart.

As GlobeSt.comreported in July 2005, GMH has already entered into a $445-million family housing development project at Fort Bliss and the adjacent White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruses, NM. This covers a six-year initial development period of a 50-year plan that ultimately calls for new construction and renovation of more than 3,200 residential units at the two Army installations that is valued at approximately $1.5 billion.

GMH is also involved in a long-term contract to develop and manage approximately 3,700 military family housing units in the Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield Project. Both contracts, including the newer single-soldier housing awards, are part of the Military Housing Privatization initiative, authorized by Congress in 1966.

GMH currently operates nine military housing privatization projects. “Now, we have the opportunity to extend these skills to single soldiers,” says Bruce Robinson, president of GMH Military Housing, in a statement. Through another division, GMH also specializes in student housing. Robinson says the company’s “real estate experience in managing over 56,000 beds for college and university students…gives us a level of expertise that will allow us to deliver quality housing communities for single soldiers that exceeds anything currently available at these bases.”

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