Second Quarter 2005

Department Of Defense Releases BRAC 2005 List

Holland & Knight Newsletter
Amy L. Edwards
On May 13, 2005, the Department of Defense (DoD) released the preliminary list of military bases targeted for closure or realignment as part of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC). Despite prior predictions that this would be the largest BRAC round ever, the proposed list represents only a 10 percent reduction in existing forces rather than the 20-25 percent previously forecast. Approximately 33 major bases will be closed, and another 29 realigned, under DoD’s announced plans. The states of Maine, South Dakota and Alaska are slated to lose the greatest number of jobs, whereas the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Florida are slated overall to gain a number of jobs.

Major targets for closure as part of BRAC 2005 include the following:

  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine
  • New London Submarine Base in Connecticut
  • Fort McPherson in Georgia
  • Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota
  • Brooks City Base in Texas
  • Red River Army Depot in Texas
  • Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico
  • Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Other facilities would be realigned, such as the following:

  • Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
  • Fort Eustis in Virginia
  • Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine
  • Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina
  • Beale Air Force Base in California
  • Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois
  • Fort Knox in Kentucky
  • Fort Hood in Texas
  • Lackland Air Force Base in Texas
  • Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas
  • Luke Air Force Base in Arizona

In addition, DoD will be withdrawing from leased spaces in many parts of the country, abandoning between 4.6 million to 8 million square feet of office space in the coming years. This aspect of BRAC 2005 could have a major impact on the leased office market and local businesses in Northern Virginia in particular.

The preliminary list is already undergoing scrutiny by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (Commission) appointed by President Bush in March. The Commission will hold a series of hearings over the course of the summer and must submit its recommendations regarding the preliminary list to the President by September 8, 2005. The President may approve the recommendations, making them binding within 45 legislative days thereafter, or disapprove them, requiring the Commission to submit revised recommendations by October 20, 2005. The President must approve the revised recommendations by November 7 or the process ends. The recommendations become final within 45 legislative days either after the President’s approval or when Congress adjourns sine die. Congress may also enact a joint resolution of disapproval of the list.

Companies who have been impacted by the BRAC 2005 announcements or who seek redevelopment opportunities at these bases may find it advantageous to seek legal counsel from lawyers with career experience in government real estate, military housing privatization, environmental, land use, defense regulatory policy, government contracts and corporate law.

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