OEA continues to assist communities, both large and small, with adapting to Defense program changes. Communities benefit from decades of OEA knowledge and community best practices, allowing them to leverage state and federal resources to proactively and positively change their individual community.
Each project highlight story below showcases a challenge the community is facing and how this community, with OEA support, is working to solve it.
Buckley Annex, Colorado
Background on Installation
Located in Denver, Buckley Air Force Base Annex (Buckley Annex) closed in September 2011 due to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision (closing the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Denver and realigning the Air Reserve Personnel Command (ARPC). The Air Force had retained the Buckley Annex property to support the ongoing mission of DFAS and ARPC after the 1994 closure of Lowry Air Force Base as part of the 1991 BRAC round. Four structures occupy the 72-acre installation, most notably the three-story, 600,000 square foot Building 444, used primarily as office space for DFAS, ARPC, and military contractors. The only access route to the site comes from Quebec Street at Lowry Boulevard on the east. Landscaped berms with mature trees buffer the adjacent community on the west and north, and a security fence surrounds the site. According to the 2008 Redevelopment Plan, the Buckley Annex closure resulted in approximately 1,270 jobs lost to the Denver metropolitan area.
Property Reuse - Disposal
The Buckley Annex Redevelopment Plan (Plan) builds upon the successful redevelopment of Lowry to create a neighborhood that integrates with the surrounding community, provides diverse housing types, public spaces and amenities, and opportunities to replace lost jobs. The Plan provides the vision for how this neighborhood could be developed as a vibrant community hub that will serve multiple generations both inside and outside the neighborhood. The Plan is defined by two mixed-use nodes united by a townhome boulevard and surrounded by a range of attached and detached homes oriented to open space and walkable streets. Key plan elements include: up to 800 residential units; 75,000 square feet of commercial space; 65-foot/5-story building height limits; land dedicated to parks and open space; dedicated parking spaces for the adjacent Denver Public Library branch; and mixed-income affordable housing and transitional housing for the homeless.
Between reuse plan adoption in January 2008 and a favorable HUD determination in May 2010, local, state, and national economic conditions changed dramatically, affecting many of the assumptions behind the reuse plan and its recommended conveyance via public sale with a required development agreement. As a result, LERA prepared a Business and Operational Plan, and submitted its EDC application to the Air Force for review in July 2011. Negotiations over EDC terms continue, with anticipated property transfer in 2012.
For more information on the Buckley Annex project, click here.