Sunday, November 13, 2016

When the Downsizing Does Come

While I may be ahead of the power-curve....I think what will occur in 2017 is an announcement that the US is downsizing its contribution to NATO....in effect.....closing down bases in Germany.  Maybe not all.....but the vast majority.  So, this is gut feeling for Wiesbaden's US Army property and how the city will handle the re-distribution.

1.  Timing: I don't see anything being handed over until 2020 at the earliest, and some of these might go into 2022 before you see every single property turned over.  Renovation?  You could be looking at 2025 to 2030 before all of this is wrapped up.

2.  The Clay Kaserne Runway.  Bluntly, the city will absolutely NOT allow the runway to be taken by the Frankfurt Airport.  I also doubt that they'd allow it to be bought or rented by any cargo company.  So the only two possibilities will be some sail-plane operation, or some private race course/auto testing ground.

3.  Clay Kaserne operational buildings.  If you were looking for university expansion or start-up business structures.....it's prime property.  Some are in great shape.  Some less so.

4.  Clay Kaserne housing.  These are mostly new structures...roughly 120 of them.  Most would require no renovation and the city might do well to run a house rental operation for affordable properites for families.  The one negative is that there is only one bus that runs through every thirty minutes.

5.  American Arms Hotel.  The city has taken possession of it and had a plan on the wall for use as university student housing.  The problem was.....no cash at the time for massive renovation.  Then the refugees came, and plans got shifted.  It's now housing a number of refugee families for an undetermined period (some suggest this will end by 2018).  I think they will find the money as refugee requirement ends and do a massive 2-year renovation job on the building.....then flip it to affordable student housing.

6.  The Earhart Hotel.  Plans still being discussed by the city.  I think the same deal will come up....minor renovation and flip over to student housing as well.

7.  Hainerberg 'Hill'.  You have a million-Euro view from that hill and it begs for high-income condos.  I think the old BX and the commissary will be quickly torn down and the property reused for upper-level condo construction.  The apartment houses for the rest of the post?  Some will be renovated and upgraded....some will be torn down.  The school complex.....currently under a massive renovation deal....will be shifted and used for a German school.  The new BX?  Probably will become a REWE or Aldi operation (although it's really too big for that).  The hotel?  Probably to be sold off to some chain hotel operation.

8.  The Bierstadt Strasse Housing.  It would not surprise me if they tore the whole thing down and made a city park out of the property.  Being adjacent to both Wiesbaden and Bierstadt, it would make sense.

9.  Aukamm Housing.  Right now.....Wiesbaden is thinking that it's in a growth period and within twelve years....will reach 300,000 people.  It would be a good location to knock down all of these and put up a couple of four-story apartment complexes....like the ones over in the old Lindsey Air Station area.  Maybe invent some nicely landscaped area like the Euro-Quarter in town.

There will be lots of opportunities here for Wiesbaden to get ahead and think the next hundred years in terms of growth and reuse.  The city could become an educational hub for a number of public and private institutions.  It's just that the big picture of the end-result....won't be apparent for probably fifteen years.

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