Delay in privatization will not impact personnel

By Gabriel Monte

CNJ staff writer

gmonte@cnjonline.com

A delay in housing privatization at Cannon Air Force base will not impact the influx of military personnel, according to a base spokesman.

Negotiations with investors have delayed housing privatization at Cannon Air Force Base from an Aug. 1 start date to January 2013, according to Maureen Omrod, a spokeswoman for Balfour Beatty Communities, the developer contracted for the project.

"Balfour Beatty Communities and the Air Force are working diligently to finalize the details of the military family housing privatization project at Cannon Air Force Base," she said.

The developer was selected in November for a 50-year contract to manage housing for the Air Force's Northern Group Housing Privatization Project.

The project is valued at $470 million and involves six Air Force bases. The developer will provide 677 new homes, renovate 361 and demolish 401 existing homes, according to a Cannon news release in November.

Omrod said the project is financed jointly by the Air Force and private investors. But the delay will not affect the cost or scale of the project, she said.

"At this point the main issue is in resolving discussion with the investors so that we can finalize that piece to finance the full scope of work that set out by the Air Force," she said.

Omrod added that the developer has already assigned staff to Cannon to make preparations for the switch to privatization.

Cannon Air Force Base has 5,300 personnel at present and is expected to grow to 5,700 by the end of next year, according to base spokesman Capt. Laurence van der Oord.

Van der Oord said the delay will not impact the influx of new personnel coming to the base.

"Even with the delay in the housing privatization we believe that all additional personnel will be able to find housing," he said.

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