AF, community benefit from March property sale

  • Published
  • By Shelley Crull
  • Air Force Real Property Agency Public Affairs
When the Air Force sold a 15-acre parcel on the former March Air Force Base to its local redevelopment authority May 16, both the Air Force and the local community came out winners.

The property, located on the former March Air Force Base, was sold to the March Joint Powers Authority (JPA) for $3 million. Deeds for the property were presented to during a JPA board meeting. The deal was struck with the cooperation of the U.S. Department of Education and the Moreno Valley Unified School District, who received millions of dollars to relocate the school on this property to another area. The JPA intends to transfer the 15-acres to a private developer who is building an industrial business center.

"The school came out a winner, the business center came out a winner and the Air Force benefited also," said Michael Morris, Vice President of commercial development for LNR, the company which intends to develop the property.

This transaction was unusual compared to others usually handled by the Air Force Real Property Agency, the field operating agency responsible for transferring property on former installations closed through the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The 15-acres had previously been transferred to the Moreno Valley Unified School District in a no-cost Public Benefit Conveyance (PBC) sponsored by the Department of Education. During the five-month negotiation period which began in Jan. 2007, multiple steps were taken and agreements had to be made to reverse this PBC, give the school district financial incentive to relocate, and make the land available for sale to March Joint Powers Authority so LNR could develop this parcel.

The first step in negotiating this deal required March Joint Powers Authority to approve LNR's proposed development plans for this parcel. Second, Moreno Valley Unified School District, with support from the Department of Education, agreed to accept money to relocate the school and requested the reverse of the PBC by the Air Force. Third, the Air Force approved this request, reversed the PBC and then sold the land to March JPA. These three steps transferred the property back to Air Force control and allowed them to sell the property to the March Joint Powers Authority, resulting in a $3 million profit.

Led by AFRPA, the Department of Defense is constantly looking for ways to unlock the value of property at former Air Force bases. Funds from this sale will go back to the Treasury Department.

"The cooperative team effort streamlined the process and made this a win-win for all," said Rick Solander, who is the Air Force BRAC environmental coordinator for March.

March AFB, a former active installation hosting KC-10 aerial refuelers, was selected for realignment under the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. In 1996, the base was realigned with a portion of the installation becoming March Air Reserve Base. AFRPA is the agency responsible for cleaning up environmental areas of concern on the former base property and transferring the property for reuse.