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For the first time, the military is having a developer put up apartments on base without ordering soldiers to live there. Picerne Military Housing is building 428 garden-style units at Fort Meade for junior enlisted service members at its own risk, but the base's BRAC-induced influx of young techies makes the firm's founder pretty comfy with the arrangement.
John Picerne and Michelle Obama on April 11, 2012, White House South Lawn
Photo credit: White House Photo Office
John Picerne (with First Lady Michelle Obama on the White House's South Lawn in April) tells us he's breaking ground in August on the $80M, 816-bed apartment complex, which will deliver in phases over three years and serve the young, single soldiers that thus far have had to use stipends to find private housing. He says 1,400 of the junior enlisted service members who work at the base live outside its gates, and that's before Cyber Command personnel come around. John was at the White House for a ceremony in which his Our Family for Families First Foundation was honored as the People's Choice in the Joining Forces Foundation Challenge.
Reznick (Retail) MBALT
Fort Meade
We snapped this little guy last fall on the golf course being razed for Cyber Command (no word whether he'll get a stipend for off-base housing). John says the military likes to have junior enlisted soldiers on base as part of its leadership-growth structure (military terminology: "unit integrity and warrior ethos"), but Fort Meade has enough on-base housing for only half the junior enlisted soldiers assigned there. The upcoming, partly furnished units will feature identical master suites (this is a democracy, after all), high-speed Internet, cable, washer/dryers, and a clubhouse with a game room, video room, gym, pool, volleyball courts, the works. John's first Fort Meade project delivered in 2000, and he's built $450M worth there.
Office Moving 2012 MBALT