Industry Day explores development opportunities

  • Published
  • By Matthew Veasley

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- In a bid to harness the full potential of its resources, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, in conjunction with the 96th Test Wing convened an Industry Day on Feb. 7, 2024. 

The event, held at the Research Engineering and Education Facility in Shalimar, served as a platform to explore growth opportunities for Eglin and the local community through research and development. 

AFCEC Symbol

“Technology is the high industry growth and not just for the military, but for the communities at large," said Julia Cantrell, AFCEC real estate development branch chief.

During this event, participants discussed ways of leveraging underutilized land surrounding the Research Engineering Education Facility for commercial development on Eglin. 

Local civic leaders and partners solicited private and public interest in the development of a 98-acre parcel of land adjacent to the REEF. The base is open to leasing all or a portion of the land for activities such as financing, permitting, constructing, and operating commercial buildings under the Air Force's Enhanced Use Lease program.  

Projects of this nature have the potential to bring higher salary jobs, promote stem education, increase local employment and build a collaborative campus like environment. It is highly conceivable that this is going to be a force multiplier in economic development for the Gulf Coast, said Cantrell.

The Air Force’s Enhanced Use Lease program facilitates collaborations between the Air Force and private developers and/or public entities for commercial development on federally owned land. Through this program, the Air Force aims to harness the expertise and resources of external stakeholders to drive innovation and economic growth through partnerships with private sector developers and public entities. 

Proposals submitted must meet or exceed the fair market value of lease payments to be considered. Conclusively, preference will be given to proposals that include lease payments for the entirety or a significant portion of the 98-acre parcel. 

“As our Air Force continues to grow and develop, this Industry Day will serve as a testament on how were able to leverage our assets for the benefit of both national security and economic prosperity of the communities in which they live, work and thrive,” said Cantrell.

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