Wright-Patterson prepares to open land to 'Enhanced Use Leases'

By THOMAS GNAU | Dayton Daily News | Published: October 28, 2020

(Tribune News Service) — Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is preparing to make land available to third-party investors or users for possible leasing and development.

The 88th Air Base Wing announced on Facebook Tuesday that it is "working to infuse third party investment into the installation's programmatic interest through an Enhanced Use Lease."

Such leases, or "EULs," are used in the Department of Defense to "acquire, develop or upgrade land and facilities," the base post said. That lets the Air Base Wing, which acts as Wright-Patterson's landlord, "manage underutilized real estate consistent with" federal law.

The leases are a way to fund construction or renovation on federal property by letting a private developer use property, with fair market rent or in-kind considerations paid by that developer.

In its announcement, the Air Base Wing pointed to what it called a pair of "underutilized parcels of non-excess real property." Those two pieces of land on the base are Gerlaugh Farm, with 23.07 total acres and 22.30 developable acres, and Area B Hilltop Tract, with 23.92 acres.

Some 13 years ago, developer Miller-Valentine purchased 60 acres of land in an area known as the Gerlaugh farm in Beavercreek that at the time had been zoned for agricultural uses. Dave Dickerson, president of Midwest business development for Miller Valentine, said that site has since been developed into Mission Point Office Point, off Col. Glenn Highway.

Working with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center in San Antonio, Texas, Wright-Patterson hopes to have an RFI or "request for information" posted by year's end, the base said.

An "industry day" meeting with prospective developers will follow, the base said.

Wright-Patterson has made EULs available in the past.

"Enhanced Use Lease presents a fantastic opportunity to develop installation property in creative ways that will benefit businesses, our neighbors and the Air Force," then-Col. Cassie Barlow, then the commander of 88th Air Base Wing, said in 2014. "Our civil engineers have worked to better define and make available new lease opportunities which we hope businesses will find attractive."

Martin Briseno, with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, described the development possibilities in 2014 as ranging from commercial retail space to energy projects.

Wright-Patterson covers more than 8,000 acres or nearly 13 square miles. The base has about 30,000 military and civilian employees.

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center oversees EUL leases and by 2014, the center managed nearly 35 such projects across the Air Force.

An agreement between the Air Force, a Utah Military Installation Development Authority and local development partners led to such a lease near Hill Air Force Base in Utah, with the creation of a research park there, the Falcon Hill National Aerospace Research Park on Hill.

A message seeking information was sent to a spokeswoman for the 88th Air Base Wing.

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