Dougherty County -- Construction of a new $37 million housing complex at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany got underway Tuesday.
The Department of the Navy will partner with a private company to build 110 new housing units for Marine families. It's more evidence that the Department of Defense is showing a long term commitment to the Albany base.
An excavator brings down 9327-A Williams Avenue, the first of 150 Albany Marine Base housing units built in the 1950s that will be torn down. That will make way for 110 new, and larger housing units. Base Commander Colonel Christian Haliday was behind the controls for the first blows.
Colonel Haliday said "It felt great. Very exciting."
Staff Sergeant Anthony Fox, his wife, and two kids have lived in one of these base houses since 2003, and knows the base needs an upgrade. Staff Sgt Fox said "ranging from 900 to 1100 square feet, for a family of four with pets, it's crowded in the house."
But now these smaller housing units will be torn down. The 100 Marine families are all living in other houses, and in two years will move into the new houses when the entire community is complete.
Clark Realty Spokesperson Phil Cowley said "we're upsizing the houses, creating community amenities they don't already have. Adding sidewalks to both sides of the street, making it a walkable trick or treat community."
Besides the up to four bedroom, two story house upgrades, a community center will be built with recreation facilities. Colonel Haliday said "It definitely goes to enhancing the quality of life of the active duty service member and his or her family. And it's going to help with retention. It makes Albany a more attractive base to come to."
The housing units have been stripped of all salvageable materials, many of which will be donated. And much of this material, like the bricks, will be recycled. Cowley said "we try to recycle and reuse as much as we can, to keep it out of landfills."
Officials expect Marine families to move into their new community housing in two years.
A professional management company that handles Marine Base housing will manage Albany's new housing.
Currently only about 100 of the more than 400 Marines stationed in Albany live on the base.