Local military housing getting face lift

A local construction and property management company will be spending millions to renovate military housing near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Miller-Valentine Group started a major renovation project of The Properties at Wright Field this year. Michael Dalton, director of operations for the community, estimates 4,000 people live in a total 1,536 houses located near the base. About 750 of those homes are in need of renovation.

“This whole house renovation is really getting the standards up to what our expectations are for our military families,” Dalton said. “They work hard; they want to come home to a home they can relax in.”

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In phase one of the renovation project, 400 Legacy homes built in the 1950s within the Prairies at the Properties at Wright Field will be updated with new appliances, lighting fixtures, two-tone paint, counters, cabinets, HVAC units, parking, etc.

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“Whatever you can replace inside the house, we’re replacing, even down to the outlet covers,” Dalton said. “We’re giving it a complete overhaul.”

Work on the Prairie project in Riverside started this year, with a four-year timeline bringing completion to 2021 or sooner, Dalton said. As residents move out over the next four years, the company will update the homes to avoid displacing too many residents, according to Miller-Valentine’s website.

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“The first year we’re having a very robust portion of the rehab because we know this affects our military families,” Dalton said.

Once phase one is complete, Miller-Valentine will move onto the second phase of renovating 300 more homes built in the ‘70s in the Woods community, within the zip code of the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, but still off base.

The renovations are part of a 50-year contract Miller-Valentine signed in 2002 when Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was one of the first installations in the government’s move to privatize military housing.

“The military has run housing for umpteen years. The military was starting to run a deficit in updates—it was going to cost millions to update these homes,” Dalton said. “They’re not in the business of that. They’re in the business of war fighting.”

Miller-Valentine demolished and constructed new contemporary homes toward the beginning of the contract and set the rest of the homes for the renovations happening now.

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The one-time price MVG paid the government to lease the roughly 900 acres for the contracted time was nominal. Dalton said the lease wasn’t about the government making money; it was about a company enhancing the property.

Dalton couldn’t confirm the renovation cost, but said it would be in the millions and the company has been putting aside money for the last 15 years to fund the project.

“Because the number is moving right now, we don’t have a fixed number,” he said. “I do know that we are projected to be able to fund the project. There’s no shortfalls that will stop us from being able to fund this project.”

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The company also plans to construct a playground with a splash zone, adding to the community’s current 41 playgrounds, with one in each cul-de-sac and other larger ones throughout.

“This is Miller Valentine carving out income coming in to give right back to our military families,” Dalton said.

The Properties of Wright Field offer 41 floors plans ranging from two to four bedrooms and 1,100 to 2,100 square feet. Active duty, retired veterans, and a small number of civilians live in the community that is patrolled by Air Force security 24 hours a day.

“We want to give homes that meet the needs of our military families. When you have ‘50s homes, they may have met the needs in the 1950s, but they don’t in the 2000s,” Dalton said.


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