YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A pair of east-side tower apartments are reopening to enlisted families after undergoing renovations for more than a year.

Forty-nine families are set to re-enter Building 4301 by mid-January, Deputy Housing Manager Judith Ware said Wednesday. About half have picked up keys already and moved in.

In Building 4302, the final touches are being applied, she said, adding that people won’t begin filling those units until the early part of next year.

All families are being shifted from towers 4300 and 4303, the next two east-side buildings slated for upgrades, Ware said. Work should begin by the end of next month.

“We’ll have everybody out of those by the end of January,” Ware said. “They’ll be turned over to the contractor to start renovations on them.”

Towers 4301 and 4302, vacated in the fall of 2002, were closed while workers refurbished kitchens and installed central air conditioning and heating systems. Ware said the same upgrades are planned for 4300 and 4303.

Yokota officials began moving families back into Building 4301 at the beginning of this month, she added. Once renovation is complete, units are turned over to the base’s change-of-occupancy contractors, who perform regular maintenance on apartments prior to each new arrival.

There’ll be 20 vacant units in Building 4301 after the relocation process, Ware said, and those will be offered to people on the housing flight’s waiting list.

Officials remain undecided about the occupants for tower 4302.

In December 2004, officials plan to turn their attention to some east-side garden apartments near the base hospital. Ware said more than 260 will receive improvements, including renovated kitchens, central heating and air, and patio covers out back.

The project will be carried out in phases, with contractors tackling 50 to 70 units at a time, she added.

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