The Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority (HLRA) has taken the next step in the long process of acquiring the surplus property at the NAS-JRB Willow Grove. At its January 15, 2014 meeting, the HLRA Board voted to submit an Economic Development Conveyance (EDC) application to the U.S. Navy to acquire all 862 acres of the former base.
Obtaining property via an EDC conveyance is unique to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. The process was created by the U.S. Department of Defense to permit a recognized local reuse authority to acquire property at closed military bases for the purpose of creating employment opportunities in the local community to replace the jobs lost when the military function was closed or transferred. The HLRA is the recognized LRA for the closed NAS-JRB Willow Grove.
The property transfer process is neither simple nor quick, nor should it be. Taking on the challenges involved in redeveloping a former military base is a complex effort. Planning for the redevelopment of the base started in September 2010 when the Navy declared the base to be surplus. During 2011 and 2012, public meetings were held where the public provided input on the future of the former base. In March 2012 the NAS-JRB Redevelopment Plan was finalized. The Redevelopment Plan recommended that the entire property be obtained from the Navy through the EDC process.
The Navy will review the HLRA’s EDC application in detail and will likely have questions on its contents and assumptions. The HLRA is confident that the EDC application and its supporting documents provide a solid foundation for meaningful discussions and future negotiations with the Navy.