Ten Years after Closure, Former Kelly AFB Remains an Economic Force

The decision to close Kelly Air Force Base delivered an emotional blow to the city of San Antonio, but over the past decade since the installation was shutdown, local officials have transformed the property into an aerospace powerhouse.

The redevelopment effort at Kelly, now named Port San Antonio, boasts 14,000 workers, 80 tenants and a $4 billion annual economic impact. The master-planned, 1,900-acre aerospace, industrial complex and international logistics park derives 80 percent of its revenues from 14 aerospace tenants, with Boeing and the Kelly Aviation Center the anchors, reported the San Antonio Express-News.

In the last several years, the Air Force has been returning to the site. After a $100 million remodeling job is completed on the 452,000-square-foot Building 171, the service will employ nearly 7,000 personnel at the port, representing almost half of the total employment there.

Now, the port is considering a town center to open up the property to greater San Antonio.

On Wednesday, the port is holding a special event to celebrate its 10-year anniversary.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen

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