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Update: Base Realignments

The Impact of Base Realignments and Closures On Huntsville, Alabama Real Estate and Other Industries
by Mike Manosky © 2006, All Rights Reserved

The May 2005 announcements by the U.S. Department of Defense regarding which military installations would be realigned or closed had the country holding its breath. Because Huntsville, Alabama is so dependent on revenue generated by the Redstone Arsenal and other government outlets, fear raged at the very thought of losing those facilities. Thankfully, Redstone was spared.

But what does the future hold for Huntsville, Alabama? Real estate, construction, utilities, education and other industries are expected to drastically change as the landscape of this city and the surrounding areas shifts. What can be expected as the impact of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) announcements unfolds?

Huntsville Real Estate & Childcare – Two Biggest Concerns

The two areas most likely to be hardest hit are real estate and childcare. Huntsville is expected to gain over 4,000 jobs, mainly civilian. This means an influx of people who hope to secure employment in one of the positions made available by BRAC. Where will they live? Who will care for their children while they are at work?

Record-setting growth in Huntsville real estate was already underway with 2002, 2003 and 2004 being banner years. With the massive onslaught of new communities, this area is well prepared to accommodate those who will move in response to BRAC. Growth in the real estate market will undoubtedly continue to expand making it an attractive prospect for residents as well as investors.

Childcare is another concern. With an explosion of new citizens expected to hit the Huntsville area, will quality childcare be available? Or will that industry find itself overcrowded and suffering from exhaustion?

According to Expansion Management’s 2006 Military Communities of Excellence report, Huntsville was ranked #1 among other communities as having the best quality of life among those with military populations between 10,000 and 19,999. In fact, Huntsville was ranked second in childcare costs. However, does this mean that the area will be able to continue in stride as the population explosion continues between now and 2011?

Yes! Numerous childcare quality enhancement contracts have been awarded for 2006. They are aimed at improving everything from training for childcare workers to expanding the public’s knowledge about childcare in Huntsville to providing an adequate supply of quality childcare for working families. In short, Huntsville is ready!

Other Affected Industries

The impact of BRAC will cause a ripple effect throughout every aspect of life in Huntsville. Support services, dental and medical care, public and private education, utilities, natural resources and many more will need time to adjust to such an enormous population growth spurt.

Thankfully, the impact will be felt in stages as the realignment and closures persist between now and 2011. During that time, Huntsville and the surrounding areas will continue to prepare.

To quote Governor Bob Riley, “Only by ensuring that area workers are prepared to fill these [positions] can we maximize the economic benefits for Alabamians.”