In real estate investing, the old adage is “location, location, location”. This is true not only for investments but also military bases. At Accend, we’ve taken a comprehensive look at about 300 military bases in the United States and identified about 50 bases that represent locations so strategic that it is highly likely the military will permanently be located there.
For instance, you may be aware there is a major Naval base located in Norfolk, VA but may not think much about why it is there. Well it’s simple – where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Chesapeake Bay is one of the world’s great natural deep-water ports. And it is one of the few locations on the entire Atlantic Coast of the United States where the US Navy can park and service its aircraft carrier fleets in a bay protected from the open ocean. So over decades, the Navy has invested hundreds of billions of dollars into this highly important port and built numerous shipyards in what is the central headquarters of the Atlantic Command.
Another example is Camp Pendleton just north of San Diego, which is 17 miles of irreplaceable Pacific Ocean coast line where the US Marine Corps trains for amphibious combat landings.Norfolk and Camp Pendleton are examples of bases where the military needs a specific set of natural geographic qualities that make for an irreplaceable location. Accend also targets bases which have a significant training mission that creates constant need for our troops to travel to them on short-term assignments.
We own a property on the famed Riverwalk of San Antonio called The Flats at Big Tex. San Antonio is home to Fort Sam Houston, which is the center of the Army’s medical complex. If you are a doctor, nurse, medic or anyone that has to do with healthcare in the military, you will make regular permanent and temporary visits to Fort Sam for training. At Big Tex today, not only do we have US military personnel as tenants but also members of the military from US allies such as Saudi Arabia, England, Israel etc who send their troops to us for training.
Another location we like is Tampa, FL home of MacDill Air Force Base and US Central Command. When our troops are abroad fighting a war, US CentCom is directing the battle from right there in Tampa. At MacDill, the Air Force also maintains a fleet of supertanker planes which refuel other planes traveling over the Atlantic Ocean.
Missions like these require the military to invest billions of dollars in specific locations and that is where Accend wants to be located. These bases are economic engines that employ thousands of people directly and thousands more indirectly – think first responders, teachers and service industry employees whose jobs are directly related to the bases’ impact on the local economy. These economic impacts of a base provide the characteristics that make for a profitable, solid real estate investment.