• County Economic Development Director Underscores Challenges in Finding New Uses for Closed Bases

    County Economic Development Director Underscores Challenges in Finding New Uses for Closed Bases0

    A new round of base closures may allow the Pentagon to redirect spending on unneeded facilities into higher priority requirements, but advocates for a sixth BRAC round shouldn’t promote the process as one defense communities can readily recover from, says the head of an economic development organization helping to address a realignment in south central Pennsylvania. “No one should think it’s an easy process,” said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., which has been supporting the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority in its efforts to convert almost 1,500 acres to commercial use since Letterkenny Army Depot was realigned following the 1995 round of BRAC …

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  • Hampton Roads Looks to Diversify Economy following Defense Downturn

    Hampton Roads Looks to Diversify Economy following Defense Downturn0

    In past decades, a decline in work at shipyards and other military-dependent industries in the Hampton Roads region stemming from a downturn in defense spending has always been followed by a future upswing in the Pentagon’s budget. But for the first time since World War II, leaders in southeastern Virginia are looking for new industries to diversify the region’s economic base as it becomes clear that defense spending no longer will supply 50 percent or more of the local economy. “We haven’t had a concerted effort in the past because, quite frankly, we haven’t needed one,” said Bryan Stephens, the head of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce …

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  • Army Breaks Ground on National Museum at Ft. Belvoir

    Army Breaks Ground on National Museum at Ft. Belvoir0

    Army leaders broke ground Wednesday at Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia on the site of the long-awaited National Museum of the U.S. Army. The 186,000-square-foot facility will cost about $200 million and is scheduled to open in 2019. The Army Historical Foundation, which has worked more than a decade on the project, has raised more than $135 million, primarily from individuals. The organization hopes to raise the additional funds as quickly as possible to keep the construction on track …

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  • Brooks City Base Breaks Ground on $10.6M Urban Park

    Brooks City Base Breaks Ground on $10.6M Urban Park0

    Brooks City Base on Wednesday broke ground on the Greenline, a $10.6 million, 43-acre linear park that will connect the South Side of San Antonio to the San Antonio River and a recreational trail running 15 miles through downtown to the North end of the city. In addition to providing recreational opportunities for individuals living and working at Brooks, the park is expected to attract tourists and residents from across San Antonio. The Greenline will connect to a portion of the San Antonio River known as Mission Reach, which links four of the city’s five historic missions that recently were designated a World Heritage site …

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  • SBA Rule Incorporates Statutory Changes Easing HUBZone Eligibility Requirements at BRAC Sites0

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) last week issued a final rule implementing changes to the HUBZone program enacted in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill designed to provide a boost to base redevelopment projects attempting to attract tenants interested in qualifying for the program. The legislation included two key provisions intended to make it easier for companies to meet the eligibility requirements of the HUBZone program — an initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas. One change expands the boundaries of BRAC-related HUBZones beyond the actual base, allowing businesses to hire employees from surrounding areas to meet the program’s requirement for 35 percent of a participant’s workers to live within a HUBZone …

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  • Southern Miss to Lead Economic Diversification, Tech Transfer Initiatives0

    The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) plans to use a $3 million grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment to help diversity the economies of defense-dependent communities in Mississippi and encourage entrepreneurs to transfer their technology innovations into commercial opportunities. Under a third initiative, the USM College of Business and the school’s Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development & Entrepreneurship will create a defense community specialization for the masters of science in economic development program …

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