Communities can and do survive BRAC.
Riverbank, California. Former Riverbank Army Ammunition Depot, in Riverbank, California, was on the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list in 2005. Today, depot is more than just a shell of a building; the facility is aiding the Riverbank community in fostering entrepreneurship, environmental consciousness, and local economic growth.
What does life after BRAC look like? What happens to the community? In this case, “the [Riverbank] community – instead of fighting, embraced it – and began the reuse process,” says Debbie Olson, Executive Director of the Riverbank Local Redevelopment Authority. A local redevelopment authority was formed to transfer federal property from federal to local control. And in the redevelopment process, materials and installation facilities have been reused to aid businesses and the community.
A BRAC facility reimagined. Bottom line, the community is thriving. Folks are back to work. Businesses are making use of the installation facilities. Both Ben Forman, co-founder of Intuitive Motion and Henry “Mic” Meeks, CEO of Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies, share how their companies are benefitting from the redevelopment plans and the depot facilities.
The definition of success looks different to many in this community, as is true for many communities impacted by BRAC. Life after BRAC is a multi-layered process; it takes many stakeholders – governments, community leadership and members – all interacting to make the transition work. With the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment’s (OEA) hands-on technical assistance throughout the process, as well as examples from communities and redevelopment authorities that have been through the process, it is possible.
Click here to watch the video: BRAC: Communities in Transition, Riverbank, California.
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