MARINES CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, GA --
A $38 million Public Private Venture project here is no longer a community-under-construction, it’s a finished community with residents living in it.
Officials with Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., and Lincoln Military Housing marked the official opening of the 110-residence community Wednesday.
“These new homes are what our Marines deserve. We owe them nothing but the best for the service they give to our country. The housing units they replace were built in the 1950s. They had served their purpose, but it was time for a change and we see the future of base housing here today,” said Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga. “This year, all of our Marines will be in their new homes in time to decorate them for the holidays.”
Base officials who participated in the PPV project were aware of the changes in the quality of housing now offered to military personnel here and elsewhere.
“As a housing manager for the past 22 years, I’ve seen the best we can do with our government dollars for our service members in maintaining and renovating our government owned quarters,” said Suzan Kear, supervisory housing manager, Housing Branch, Installation and Environment Division, MCLB Albany. “Probably, the best thing Congress has done was pass this PPV legislation and allow us to go into partnership with private developers to built state-of-the-art community oriented housing like this.”
Kear observed that compared to previous government housing, the new PPV units here are larger and have the latest amenities.
“The quality of life, in my opinion, has improved 100 percent for the families,” she said. “My heart will just swell with pride and happiness when I see the Marines move into the new housing units. I’ve been affiliated with the military all my life. My dad was in the military and I’ve lived in Navy and Army housing, and now I wish I still had the opportunity to live in housing.
These new homes are like quarter-of-a-million dollar private homes you find in the Albany area and we’re going to be able to provide that to our young Marines and their families. It’s absolutely the best thing the Department of Defense has ever done for our active-duty families,” Kear said.
A total of 110 PPV units were constructed, and there is an option to construct additional homes, should there be a need.
Currently, 98 units are already assigned to Marines and there is a waiting list. Lincoln Military Housing is in the process of contacting Marines on that list to offer them available housing.
To make the process go smoothly, 10 moves are scheduled weekly, which means all housing units should be occupied by Dec. 11.
Although the PPV grand opening was held Wednesday, the homes have been available for move-in since Oct. 22. Those Marines slated to make the first moves rolled in with trucks and vans loaded with household goods.
“These units are the best I’ve seen yet in the Marine Corps,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Blech, Supply Management Center, Marine Corps Logistics Command. “We completed the paperwork today and now we’re moving in. Our son hasn’t seen it yet, but our daughter was with us when we got the keys this morning and she’s been off the wall happy about moving in.”
The 16-year Marine veteran, who has two children and had been living off-base, hoped to make the Do-It-Yourself move in four trips with a rented moving van.
His wife Amy, a military wife for more than nine years, said they had lived in military housing while stationed in Hawaii.
“The original housing we had over there needed some work, but then we moved into privatized housing there, which was nice,” she said. “We didn’t have much yard space in Hawaii, but we love the yard here where the kids can play.”
Besides the housing units, the community includes a community center, plus playgrounds, sidewalks and a pool.
“The community center here is gorgeous. The gym has a playroom for the kids so we can go workout and not have to leave the kids somewhere. The playground is great, it’s all very family oriented,” she added.
Amy Blech sees the value of quality housing for both her family and new families coming into the military.
“Especially with the families coming in with children, this is good.”