Horsham air base development moves forward

Posted: January 17, 2014

The Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday approved a land transfer application and plans to hire a developer to transform the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station into a residential and commercial site.

A solicitation will go out to developers nationwide on Jan. 27. Authority executive director Michael McGee said only a handful of firms have experience with a project this big.

McGee said the request will ask developers to explain "how you would finance this project, do you have the wherewithal, do you have the experience and the interest."

The plan calls for houses, apartments, offices, a school, aviation museum, open space, entertainment, and retail sites to be built on the 862-acre base vacated by the military in 2011.

The land-transfer plan launches a real estate negotiation in which the Navy and the authority will debate the value of the land, McGee said.

The Navy also moved forward this week, holding public meetings on the potential environmental impact and briefing the authority board.

If the current pace continues, officials said, negotiation will begin in June and construction could start by the end of the year.


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