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FY 2015 Defense Spending By State report now available for download.

Fort Gillem Army Depot

Purpose: 

Overview

Strong partnerships with the Army and environmental agencies helped accelerate the pace of redevelopment at the former Army depot.

Gillem Today

After ten years of planning and development, over 1,000 people now work on the former Fort Gillem – nearly twice as many civilians as when the base closed.

On June 2, 2014, the Army transferred 771 acres to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) through an economic development conveyance, enabling the Authority to close their deal with a major national grocer. URA anticipates the transfer of an additional 150 acres from mid-2017 through June 2018.

Over 8 million square feet of modern warehousing, distribution and office space is planned for the site. Already, Kroger Company has opened a 1.2-million square foot distribution center on 253 acres that employs 1,000 workers. The Forest Park Development Partners opened an 860,000 square foot facility on 48 acres in late 2016 and began work on three smaller centers in mid-2017.

The URA has constructed a four-lane road through the property and has contracted for the installation of new trunk water, sewer, natural gas and electric utilities.

The Gillem Logistics Center will employ 3-5,000 workers at full buildout.

Background

Fort Gillem served as a major Army supply depot and administrative/transportation satellite base for three major Army headquarters located at Fort McPherson. The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended the closure of Fort Gillem, resulting in the loss of 570 civilian positions.

The City of Forest Park established the URA as the local redevelopment authority to oversee implementation of the redevelopment plan. Among the chief concerns of the URA in the redevelopment of the base was the economic conditions in the area: Clayton County, where Fort Gillem is located, has had the lowest median household income in the ten-county metro Atlanta region, while Forest Park has had the lowest per capita income and highest unemployment rate in the area.

Of the 1,427-acre base, the Army retained a 277-acre enclave in the southwestern portion. 397 acres on the former facility require environmental remediation at an estimated cost of between $51 and $160 million. The infrastructure is old and generally not reusable. To begin redevelopment and reuse within the context of economic and infrastructure challenges, URA developed a phased, industrial redevelopment project with a 20-25 year build out. Approximately 70 percent of the available property is slated for job-generating uses such as manufacturing, light industrial, warehousing, and commercial office space. Retail and recreational uses are planned for the some portions of the base.

URA selected a Master Developer in late 2007 to help the authority make timely and smart decisions about possible reuse scenarios and end users. The employment of a small team of subject matter experts, combined with existing city staff directorates, allowed the URA to effectively function with limited personnel.

URA also developed a strong partnership with Army, state and federal environmental officials. This facilitated the development and implementation of a workable and acceptable strategy for environmental remediation and redevelopment under the Georgia Voluntary Brownfields Program, and avoidance of a possible Superfund Site listing. The Army has a multi-year, $21-million remediation contract to address source materials and groundwater on and off-site. The URA also has an environmental Pollution Legal Liability Insurance Policy in place on the entire property.

Updated October, 2017

Point of Contact

Mr. Frank Brandon
Chairperson
URA

State:
GA