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Fort Bliss to be Site of First-of-Its-Kind Shopping Center

July 17, 2009

DENVER, July 17 /PRNewswire/ — Today marked the ceremonial groundbreaking of Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss, a first-of-its-kind retail development located on Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and ServiceStar Development Company have teamed in a public/private venture to create the first-ever shopping center to be located on a United States military installation.

Major General Howard B. Bromberg, commanding general, Fort Bliss and Major General Keith L. Thurgood, commander, AAFES, joined members of the development team, Fort Bliss’ Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Corporal Carlos Molinares and Mrs. Sarah Haugen, wife of Sergeant Justin Haugen who is deployed with the 93rd Military Police Battalion to mark the occasion.

“With the creation of Freedom Crossing, Fort Bliss will be home to the first-ever open-air shopping center to be located on military Post,” stated Major General Howard B. Bromberg. “More than a place to shop, Freedom Crossing will serve as the social gathering place for the greater Fort Bliss Community.”

Fort Bliss is undergoing significant expansion under the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 including $4.8 billion in fully-funded construction that is already underway. By 2012, the Fort Bliss community is expected to grow by more than 60 percent and reach a population of 127,000 including Army personnel, military families, National Guard, reserves and retirees.

“Over the course of our rich history, AAFES has provided retail and restaurant offerings to active duty, guard and reserve members, military retirees and their families around the world,” said Major General Keith L. Thurgood. “We are building Freedom Crossing to create the premier shopping, dining and entertainment open-air marketplace where families and friends can come together.”

To better serve the growing Fort Bliss community, AAFES and ServiceStar Development Company are creating the first-ever opportunity for national, regional and local retailers to privately operate within a shopping center on a military installation. The open-air marketplace will feature a multiplex, first-run movie theater as well as premium branded specialty retail offerings including apparel, jewelry, sporting goods and several full-service restaurants.

The $100 million retail center will have a gross leasable area of 455,875 square feet. Anchoring the project will be an expanded Post Exchange, the on-installation department store, which will be 217,240 square feet and a new Commissary, the Post grocery store, which will be 111,180 square feet.

“Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss offers an unmatched leasing opportunity that includes a substantial and loyal customer base with considerable disposable income,” said Mark DeRose, chief executive officer, ServiceStar Development Company. “Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss presents a unique value proposition for retailers and restaurants including an environment free from property taxes and the advantage of locating next to existing, well-established anchors that provide long-term sustainability.”

Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss is designed to achieve a Silver Rating from the United States Green Building Council and its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program. Environmentally-friendly practices including use of recycled materials, day-lighting principles, xeriscape and low-water usage were incorporated into the center’s design.

Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss will stimulate the local economy. Current annual sales at Fort Bliss are $175 million. With the addition of Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss, annual sales are projected to exceed $350 million. Fort Bliss is currently the second-largest employer in El Paso, and it is estimated that 900 jobs will be created at Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss. When it is complete, it is projected that Freedom Crossing will generate $5.5 million in sales tax revenue for the City of El Paso, Texas annually.

Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss will serve as the model for proposed retail developments at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, WA, and Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX.

Retailers interested in learning more about the space available at Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss should contact David, Hicks and Lampert Brokerage at (303) 694-6082 or info@dhlb.com.

For more information about the project please visit, www.freedomcrossingatfortbliss.com

About AAFES

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. AAFES has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs. To find out more about AAFES’ history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/pa/default.asp.

About ServiceStar Development Company

ServiceStar Development Company, founded in 1987, has successfully developed more than $500 million in open-air lifestyle centers, mixed-use projects, neighborhood retail shopping centers and single tenant build-to-suits around the country. Through real estate investment, acquisition and development, the ServiceStar team creates highly-successful projects with enduring community appeal. For more information on the company and its projects, please visit www.servicestarusa.com.

SOURCE ServiceStar Development Company


Source: newswire



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