Balfour Beatty, US military close in on major P3

A Balfour Beatty unit submitted the highest ranked offer in a US Air Force PPP aimed at privatising military housing. The project would span America and is valued at $470m.

A US Air Force (USAF) project to privatise military housing from North Dakota to Idaho has been awarded to a unit of UK developer Balfour Beatty.

The public-private partnership (PPP) is priced at around $470 million. Balfour Beatty's proposal was named highest ranked offer (HRO) by the USAF. The developer and USAF will now work to finalise an agreement.

The envisioned PPP, named the Northern Group Housing Privatisation Project, would entail privatising military housing in New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Idaho. Cannon Air Force Base (AFB) in New Mexico, Minot AFB, Grand Forks AFB, Cavalier AFB – each in North Dakota – Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota, and Mountain Home AFB in Idaho, are slated for construction, development, management and renovation under the deal.

According to Balfour Beatty, the PPP is a 50-year concession with construction and development scheduled for completion in 2014.

For Balfour Beatty, the North Group Housing Privatisation Project reinforced its long-running success within the Military-Industrial Complex. The developer has a profitable relationship with the US Department of Defence. In addition to the US Air Force, the company has contracted with the army and navy.

Its Balfour Beatty Communities, a unit of Balfour Beatty Capital Group, is a specialised subsidiary created to do business with the US military. The unit has a “military housing footprint” encompassing 53 military installations in 25 states, according to Balfour Beatty.

The Military Housing Privatisation Initiative, which went into effect in 1996, let the US military and private sector work together to provide on-base housing. The North Group Housing Project will use Balfour Beatty Construction, architectural firm Niles Bolton Associates, and engineering specialist Woopart.

A Balfour Beatty press officer did not respond to a request for additional comment at press time.