BRAC and the central Panhandle

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by beachmouse, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    It's too bad the Bay Beacon isn't online because the full article makes for interesting reading. Walton County isn't going to see quite the direct impact that Okaloosa and Santa Rosa will, but they'll still get indirect benefits from the new high wage/high skill positions coming into the area.

    If Base Realignment and Closure passes as planned, gains are expected to be:

    3400 permanent military personnel
    as many as 1500 students in training and reservists temporarily in the area
    total direct population gain of 10,000 to 15,000 people once you add in spouses and dependants

    by the year 2011 with most of the new arrivals making it into the area by 2009

    They're still working on estimates of indirect population, job, and economic gains.

    What it means for Walton County- there's talk about relocating the Ground Combat Training Camp closer to the Navy EOD school in the Bluewater Bay/Villa Tasso/Choctaw Beach area. I wouldn't be surprised to see other training sites go in along the western Hwy 20 corridor. I can also see those communities redeveloping from the population growth and pressures since land closer to base is pretty scarce, and it's now getting hard to find new homes in Crestview south of I-10.

    There's also talk about encroachment issues. So expect the pace and pressure for conservation easements in areas close to Eglin reservation land or in the Northwest Florida Greenway area to increase. As much as developers want to get their hands on land in Freeport, the Air Force wants to get it back off the table so they can keep what they consider to be a safe buffer zone.

    If you're against high rises, the Air Force can be a useful partner in getting those kinds of projects blocked. They've just sent the proposed Turnberry project near Destin Commons back to the architects for a second time because the architects didn't think that when the AF said 'no more than 200 mean feet above sea level in that area' they meant it.

    Indirectly, a larger year round high wage/high skill population base is going to help support businesses across Destin and SoWal during the off season.
     
  2. SHELLY

    SHELLY SoWal Insider

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    >>Walton County isn't going to see quite the direct impact that Okaloosa and Santa Rosa will, but they'll still get indirect benefits from the new high wage/high skill positions coming into the area.

    3400 permanent military personnel<<

    Have you taken a look at the wage scale for military personnel lately?? I can tell you...they cannot afford $300,000 condos or $450,000 homes. The people who are going to make out on this deal will be apartment complexes and the lowest priced existing homes available.

    Support for the GIs is now mostly passed off to the lowest contract bidder. A couple years ago an aviation company in Crestview was paying less than $20 per hour (good wages for the area) yet the company had to GO BEGGING (!) in the local area to find affordable housing for their workers. Workers were willing to take the jobs, but they couldn't find suitable, affordable housing for their families--and that was a couple years ago!!

    These folks are going to be hit HARD (!) by the rising cost of utilities and gas prices and their discretionary spending (i.e., shopping and dining) will be cut to the bare bones and they will be looking for value (Walmart and fast food).

    The Thursday WSJ has stories about mortgage lenders who are cracking down on "exotic mortgages" (variable ARMS, interest only) and the rise in overdue credit payments (cards, car, HELOC, etc.).

    A large majority of the consumers are pretty much tapped out after holding this economy up for the past couple of years; builders will have to cut into their margins if they intend on building homes with higher cost materials; mortage costs will continue to rise and home sellers (who bought homes at the top) will have to adjust their prices down to stave off competition from home sellers who've bought their homes a few years ago. Petroleum-based products (plastics & chemicals which is just about everything) are going to see price increases; asphalt, concrete, wood, and drywall prices are going to soar; food prices are going up (due to increased shipping costs); Florida minimum wages which are now tied to inflation will increase so costs will be passed along to the customers (but the increases will not benefit the workers since they will not keep pace with inflation since gas and food are taken out of the equation).

    Economically speaking, I see a rough and rocky road ahead for the average American consumer which will be even worse for our underpaid American GIs.

    Beach people tend to live in their own little world and have no idea of world of the average consumer--these are the people who do their nails, clean their pools, and wait on their table. They only take notice when they can't get service.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2005
  3. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    I remember a couple of studies showing that the increase in the FL minimum wage would end up adding something like $0.15 in cost passed along to the consumer to the typical $20 retail purchase.

    As for housing costs, the career service folks are in a better place to handle them than people in civilian jobs in some ways because they do get decent increases in housing allowances at times. I've got kin who are career Army enlisted, and what they get is allowing them to make mortgage payments on a modest home in Hawaii, and prices here are nothing compared to there yet.

    And the military folks I know around here aren't rich, but even the enlisted folks with a couple years in generally have a comfortable middle class lifestyle.

    I'm kind of surprised to hear about the aviation company in Crestview. Up until about two years ago, you could get a decent, but not extravagant newer home there in the $90K-$120K range for 1500sf. And you can still find a small but newer home up there for $150K. Plus, you'd think that there would be a lot of people living up there already who are sick of doing the whole SR-85 'Crestview 500' every day.
     
  4. SHELLY

    SHELLY SoWal Insider

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    >>the increase in the FL minimum wage would end up adding something like $0.15 in cost passed along to the consumer to the typical $20 retail purchase. <<

    And how far will that "generous" 15-cents go toward the recipient's cost of living? Since the "inflation index" excludes food and gas (but then who needs those things) the minimum wage earners will be worse off than before.

    >>And the military folks I know around here aren't rich, but even the enlisted folks with a couple years in generally have a comfortable middle class lifestyle. <<

    Military officers make money hand-over-fist, they do just fine.

    BUT although it's true that some (certainly not all) enlisted are "comfortable" (based on their time in the service, spouses' employment and number in their family) compared to minimum wage service workers...ask them again after a couple months of $3.00 gas, increased utilities, increased food costs, and soaring housing costs (insurance, mortgage, taxes). Locally, housing has gone up double-digits every year for the past couple years--I guarantee military pay raises didn't do the same. The bulk of military enlisted wouldn't qualify for a conventional mortgage based on their pay--many have taken out "exotic mortgages" that will be putting them in big trouble in the not-too-distant future.

    The US economy is heading for a major shake-up. The poor are feeling the pinch now and the service workers are not far behind ($7.00ph for pizza delivery with a $100 sign-on bonus! But no benefits :eek: ). When the people in the complex start complaining they can't get a pizza delivered...it's all downhill from there.
     

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