With many of the highest-ranking and most-decorated officers at the Department of Defense’s Special Operations and Central Command located at MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, Fla., the facility’s housing should have been top-notch. It wasn’t. In fact, accommodations in the private sector were much better. That had to change.
Enter Arlington, Va.–based Clark Realty Capital. The firm, long a powerhouse in the government’s Military Housing Privatization Initiative, executed a plan to take the base, populated mainly with one-story houses with carports, and build 327 new single-family and duplex homes for officers and enlisted families.
“We knew those units would get a lot of exposure and [there would be] a lot of entertaining and dignitaries coming by, so we wanted to make sure it was a high-quality product,” says Justin W. Trowbridge, a development associate with Clark Realty Capital.
In the process, the firm also built a community for the service members by providing parks, picnic areas, and tot lots that promote “new pedestrianism” and establish identifiable neighborhoods. One of the new neighborhoods consists mainly of Craftsman homes, with another comprising mostly Mission Style houses.
“When we were first designing the project, we went to Tampa with architects and toured various neighborhoods there,” Trowbridge says. “We wanted to incorporate the themes you find in the Tampa Bay community, in some of the historic areas, into our new homes on base, to make residents feel as though they’re living in high-quality developments off base.”
Clark focused on sustainable features and recyclable materials, adding high-efficiency appliances, windows, and HVAC systems. The homes also include wide stairwells, ample storage, and durable materials to accommodate the high resident turnover of military facilities.
The developer wanted the community to be recognizable from the street while also protecting residents from hurricanes. The solution was to build the homes on piers with parking underneath.