Major construction project to replace Beaufort military housing

10/04/2013 11:21 PM

10/04/2013 11:32 PM

Laurel Bay soon will be getting more curb appeal, as developers announced plans Friday to demolish and rebuild 42 outdated homes in the housing community for personnel at Beaufort County's three military installations.

The $12-million project will replace vacant, ranch-style houses, some about 60 years old, with single-family homes and duplexes equipped with two-car garages, screened porches and other features, said Kathleen Murney, vice president of project developer Lend Lease.

The updates will keep energy efficiency in mind. Each new unit will include double-pane windows, thicker insulation and Energy Star appliances. The developer plans to recycle about 60 percent of construction debris.

"I'm so proud of our ability to take down older homes and rebuild these new beautiful homes that are large and spacious and provide that quality of life our military service members deserve," Murney said Thursday. "What we're able to do, I think, is better than anything that has come before."

Demolition will begin within six to eight months. Construction should begin 18 months to two years later.

A second community-improvement project, costing $13 million to $18 million, is already underway at Laurel Bay. Over the next two to three years, Lend Lease plans to upgrade more than 1,035 remaining 1950s- and '60s-era units, replacing and updating roofs, flooring, and heating and air systems.

"It's rather extensive work that's being done," Murney said.

Lend Lease is renovating 40 to 50 homes per month, working on them after residents move.

Friday afternoon's announcement kicked off a celebration honoring 10 years of privatized housing at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Naval Hospital Beaufort and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

The bases' military housing communities are all managed by Atlantic Marine Corps Communities, a division of Lend Lease.

Housing on each base, as well as at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will be undergoing updates similar to those at Laurel Bay.

At Pine Grove on the air station, 136 duplexes are slated for demolition to prepare for a potential runway expansion. Renovations will begin next year at the vacant General Officer Quarters 1 at Parris Island, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. And at the naval hospital, 53 duplexes will receive energy upgrades.

At Laurel Bay, Murney said she was confident the future holds more improvements.

"As we get funding and as we get money for the project, we're able to do more and more," Murney said.

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