Wilmington, NC – Last year's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission designated the Adrian B. Wilmington Armed Forces Reserve Center on West Lakeshore Drive a surplus property. Now, under federal rules, groups that would use the facility for public benefit get the first shot at it, with homeless services taking a preferred role in the transfer.
Representatives from seven different local groups toured the building last week, although none have submitted an official proposal yet. One representative from a Wilmington homeless shelter said she expects a council of local service providers to submit a joint application after evaluating community needs. With the rising cost of land and construction, she said she expects a great deal of interest in the Reserve Center.
Wilmington Code enforcement officer Mark Johnson has been designated the Local Redevelopment Authority, or LRA, charged with shepherding groups through the application process.
Johnson described the Center, which faces Greenfield Lake, but is close to shops and public transportation on Carolina Beach road, as a "pretty ideal location" and said he expects to get a number of applications as the September 7th deadline approaches, from a wide variety of groups.
"Not only homeless service providers, but those that are in the fields of health, education, even public transportation, and those types of things."
After September 7th, Wilmington's City Council has nine months to select among the applicants and make its recommendation to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. According to Johnson, the site is scheduled for full transfer to civilian control by 2011.