The Real Deal Miami

Air Force base pursues 50-acre private development

Eglin Air Force Base is seeking a private developer for surplus land in Fort Walton Beach

September 11, 2016 09:40AM

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Eglin Air Force Base spans more than 460,000 acres including 20 miles of frontage on the Gulf of Mexico.

Eglin Air Force Base spans more than 460,000 acres including 20 miles of frontage on the Gulf of Mexico.

The Air Force is preparing to launch its second effort to develop surplus land on its sprawling Eglin Air Force Base in north Florida.

Eglin is seeking a developer for 50 acres in Fort Walton Beach following the development of a beachfront hotel on another base-owned parcel in the city.

The 50-acre parcel, a candidate for mixed-use development, is near the Okaloosa County Courthouse in Fort Walton Beach.

With more than 460,000 acres of land at Eglin, the Air Force the largest landowner in the western Florida Panhandle region. Glenn Wagner, director of real estate at Eglin, said the acreage outstrips the Air Force’s needs in north Florida.

Wagner also told the Pensacola News Journal that construction of a beachfront Holiday Inn on Fort Walton’s Okaloosa Island was the first private development of unused Eglin land, and it may inspire a second.

The Holiday Inn, developed by Gulf Breeze-based Innisfree Hotels, has generated more rental income for Eglin than the Air Force had expected.

Eglin owns 20 miles of beachfront land along the Gulf of Mexico, from Destin to Navarre, which the base uses to test weapons and conduct training. [Pensacola News Journal]Mike Seemuth

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