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NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA-GMH Communities Trust’s military housing division has closed on a private sector military housing project at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, CA. At the same time, the Department of the Air Force has selected the locally based specialty housing REIT as highest ranked offeror for its three-base AMC West housing privatization project.

The Vandenberg project has a 50-year term, beginning with a five-year initial development period that includes the design, construction and/or renovation along with overall management and maintenance of approximately 867 end-state housing units. The project cost for the initial period is estimated at $163 million.

Vandenberg is headquarters for the 30th Space Wing, which manages space and missile testing for the Department of Defense and places satellites into polar orbit from the West Coast. GMH will earn management and development fees throughout the term of the project. It is utilizing Fresno, CA-based Meyer Architecture & Planning Inc. and Greeley, CO-based Hensel Phelps Construction Co. on this project.

Having been selected as HRO among competitors for the AMC West project, GMH begins exclusive negotiations with the Air Force for an estimated 2,435 end-state housing units at Fairchild AFB near Spokane, WA; Travis AFB near Fairfield, CA, and Tinker AFB near Oklahoma City, OK. This 50-year project begins with a seven-year initial development period that will provide an estimated aggregate of 2,435 end-state housing units. The project cost for the initial seven years is valued at in excess of $400 million.

Rick Taylor, SVP of GMH, tells GlobeSt.com it expects the negotiations to close in the second quarter of 2008. The Air Force plan is to convey a little under 4,000 housing units at the bases, Taylor says, and under its proposal, GMH would demolish excess capacity to bring the total to the projected 2,435 that would support the needs of the bases. The exact configuration of the housing is determined in the negotiations, and Taylor says, “like the other projects in our portfolio, it would typically include a mix of single family, duplexes and multi-unit townhouses.”

The Vandenberg project is one of three GMH has landed with the Air Force and the company’s 12th military housing privatization project. As GlobeSt.com previously reported, this October it took over management of housing projects at 11 US Navy bases, paving the way for final negotiations to obtain a contract to provide 5,501 end-state housing units on those bases.

Regarding the AMC West selection, Bruce Robinson, president of GMH’s military housing division, says in a statement, “we feel honored to have been chosen for the third time as HRO for an Air Force privatization project. This latest selection by the Air Force serves to reaffirm our presence as a leading provider within the military housing industry.”

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