“Early communication” between the Air Force and prospective developers about upcoming projects that rely on either enhanced use leasing (EUL) or power purchase agreements (PPAs) is key to ensuring the success of those ventures by reducing the chances that unexpected hurdles will slow their progress.
That observation was one of many that resulted from a partnership discussion among Air Force officials, developers and community leaders held last week during ADC’s Installation Innovation Forum in San Antonio.
The Air Force recently has focused on streamlining the acquisition process so that it is more responsive to developers’ needs, reported the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC). “If we’re not reactive enough to proposals, we might get a market shift that now makes the project not viable,” said Martin Briseno, EUL program manager for AFCEC.
“Among the biggest challenges we face is communicating what Air Force requirements are so the community and developers know exactly what we’re looking for,” he added.
While the Air Force officials at the discussion underscored their need to partner with industry and defense communities, one developer explained why the private sector and local leaders are eager to work with the military to develop property. “The land the government offers is valuable to the local community for development because it’s usually a large parcel of land and we only deal with a single owner versus sometimes multiple owners of land in the local community,” said Tom Swoyer of Infinity Development Partners.
“In most states leased land from the government is also exempt from property tax, which from a business standpoint is more enticing as well,” he added.