Saturday, April 12, 2008

Can Escambia County Profit from Saufley Field?

Mike Whitehead and Mark O’Brien think it’s a good idea to spruce up Saufley Road in an effort to make Saufley Field “as inviting as it can be”. In the next couple of years, the Navy “is looking for a developer to handle much of the property there”.

Whitehead is already lobbying the state in an effort to the secure the funds that will be needed to revamp Saufley Road. The Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce thinks Saufley Field will be “used by a defense contractor”.

Is it a good idea to redevelop Saufley Field? Are defense contractors even interested in coming to Saufley Field? Before the County uses state money to revamp Saufley Road, I think they should gauge defense contractor’s level of interest in coming to Saufley Field.


jeeperman said...

I mentioned this to Mark:

"Mark, please clarify your statement: "the Navy facility that will be turned over to more civilian use in the next two years"
I do not belive that is the proper term, "turned over" I heard the Field Commander (or some other big wig) on the radio say that the under utilized buildings will be opened up and leased to civilian use. And that if deemed necessary, (as in a change of command mission) those companies that are leasing space could be made to move out.
So I think it would be better to say opened up to more civilian use versus turned over. Otherwise it sounds like the base is closing."

Where did you hear or read that the Navy is looking for a developer? On the radio, the Navy guy said they would be leasing out facilities. Maybe via some contractor/manager? It did not sound like the Navy was going to allow more than cosmetic changes to anything they lease out.
And in the event of the Navy needing the leased space in the future, the Navy could kick out any leasor.

jeeperman said...

Oh, and the Navy guy said he presumed the main interest in leasing anything at Saufley would come from defense contractors.
But that the Navy would consider leasing to anyone for anything.

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