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AF signs lease with North Dakota community

Release Number: 020215

Air Force leaders signed a lease last week opening up 217 acres of Air Force property at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota for development by neighboring Grand Forks County.

The enhanced use lease real estate deal allows the county to develop the non-excess acreage into an unmanned aerial system business park for aircraft testing, training, and research. The lease could earn the base more than $40 million throughout the duration of the 50-year lease, an additional revenue stream that Grand Forks' commander said will help fund infrastructure needs.

"Every dollar counts and every resource is valuable in today's fiscal environment," said Col. Paul Bauman, 319th Air Base Wing commander. "Not only is this a tremendous win for the base, but it's a victory for the entire community. Grand Forks is more than just our neighbors -- they're our partners."

Grand Forks County officials expect the new UAS industry to bring an estimated 3,000 new jobs to the region.

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center manages the EUL program. AFCEC's Installations Directorate acquires, manages and disposes of Air Force-controlled real property worldwide. To date, AFCEC has closed 13 value-based real estate transactions with considerations worth more than $300 million.