Digging into Hill

Construction of the first phase of the Falcon Hill National Aerospace Park at Hill AFB, Utah, began Oct. 10 with a groundbreaking ceremony. Ogden’s Standard-Examiner reported Oct. 11 that a group of roughly 15 Air Force and government officials participated in the event. “This is a historic day,” Maj. Gen. Kathleen Close, commander of the Ogden Air Logistics Center, said at the event, according to the newspaper. She continued, “There has been an unprecedented level of cooperation between the federal government, the state of Utah and all the surrounding communities.” The Air Force signed a $1.5 billion lease and development agreement with Sunset Ridge Development Partners, a private developer, in August. Under the terms of the deal, Sunset Ridge will finance, build, and manage eight million square feet of office space, including supporting restaurants and two hotels, on 550 acres of land on the west side of Hill under a 50-year lease. The goal is to attract thousands of aerospace industry jobs to the area. In return, the ALC will get up to 1.6 million square feet of free office space. The initial construction phase, scheduled for completion in 2010, involves developing the first 180 acres and two million square feet of the park. The land is being made available under the Department of Defense enhanced use leasing program that makes under-utilized areas available to private developers for commercial uses. Falcon Hill is the largest EUL project to date.