It was a wonderful summer here at Fort Monroe. As I think about all the activity, one thing is clear: Fort Monroe’s legacy as a place to gather and celebrate is not only alive, but thriving. That was apparent on July 4th, when over 30,000 people, including Governor Bob McDonnell, descended upon the property for an entire day of fun as well as the return of the fireworks display. The July 4th fireworks display is a tradition at Fort Monroe and it was rewarding to see so many individuals, couples and families enjoying this retired military post.
Celebrations are a part of the rich history at Fort Monroe. They create a sense of community and build memories, which are goals of the Fort Monroe Authority and its board of trustees. These things, along with the requirement to be economically sustainable, are important for us as we continue work on the adaptive reuse of Fort Monroe.
We reached a significant milestone in that process recently when the Fort Monroe Authority received the deed to 313 acres of property from the Army. Developing a financial model that will allow Fort Monroe to sustain itself and meet the demands of managing such a large development has become increasingly important.
I am pleased to say that we are well on our way. We are now leasing almost 150 of the 176 residential units at Fort Monroe. The Authority is also evaluating the conversion of a former small hotel on the property into one-bedroom apartments. Fort Monroe continues to attract the attention of businesses such as Carson Helicopters, which recently signed an agreement to move its operations here after 50 years in Pennsylvania. Carson is known for manufacturing the helicopter blade for Marine One, which carries the President of the United States.
This growing interest in Fort Monroe highlights the need for a Master Plan to guide its future. In the next several weeks, Sasaki Associates will present the Fort Monroe Master Plan. This plan, which has received enthusiastic public input, will guide the adaptive reuse of Fort Monroe for years to come. Our intention is to create a community that preserves its natural beauty, tells the great stories of Fort Monroe, and can become economically sustainable for future generations. We invite you to attend the Planning Advisory Group Meeting on September 26 and the Board of Trustees meeting on October 24 to hear the presentations. Both meetings will begin at 1 pm and will be held at the Bay Breeze Conference Center at 490 Fenwick Road.
I hope to see you here soon.
The Fort Monroe Authority