Falcon Hill Flies High
The partnership is truly unprecedented. With Falcon Hill, defense contractors have the ability to operate in very close proximity to their Air Force counterparts, an advantage that ultimately saves time and money because it provides opportunities for contractors to meet with key personnel within hours instead of weeks.
As part of the EUL, commercial property can be built on land owned by the base, either “inside the fence,” or “outside the fence” and accessible to the public. This dynamic has greatly benefited the range of companies located on site, including Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and many others. Because there is land “outside the fence,” Falcon Hill also has a Hilton-branded hotel and even a Starbucks on site.
Sunset Ridge Development Partners knowledge of defense requirements and federal regulations mean that each building is constructed with robust security in mind. The company can install government-secured networks and make a building signal impenetrable. “We think there’s huge value in being able to provide good customer service with close proximity to the Air Force Base,” said Taylor Woodbury, the director and chief operating officer of Woodbury Corporation. “We’re building state-of-the-art, classified space to the highest security standards that the Department of Defense has required, and we’re able to do that on Air Force ground.”
Serving Community and Country
Another unique aspect of Falcon Hill is that both development partners have agreed to a 50-year investment horizon, ensuring a long-term focus that maximizes return on investment and maintains high-quality standards for an extended period of time. This approach has yielded incredible success, with Falcon Hill expected to generate over $500 million in private investment by 2022.
“With our enhanced use lease, we have the ability to develop these 550 acres over time,” said Woodbury. “We don’t have to take it down as a single parcel. We can get a new parcel of ground and develop it, which allows us to be much more dynamic than most EULs with the Department of Defense. We have the flexibility to add new buildings as the need and opportunities arise.”
Revenue generated at Falcon Hill does not go back to Washington, D.C. like most other EULs. Rather, investment stays locally and is used exclusively for developments at Hill AFB. The shared goal is to make Falcon Hill profitable enough that it can provide a steady income stream for the military to utilize on future missions. Sunset Ridge Development Partners has already built a new Security Forces building, a new west gate and a 72,000-foot software development building on the base. In addition, the company anticipates building another new office building utilizing the income stream from prior developments.
Given the significant tax revenues generated from such an arrangement, state and local officials have been enthusiastic partners. The development has already attracted thousands of high-paying jobs to the state and created a multiplier effect that has rippled throughout the local community. Average salaries on the site are nearly double the salaries in the area, showcasing Falcon Hill’s ability to break down barriers literally and figuratively.