The estimated $5 billion being pumped yearly by MacDill Air Force Base into the economy of Tampa, Florida and surrounding areas is not the only good thing arising from the air base’s presence in the city. The air base is also making Tampa real estate more desirable and valuable as active military personnel and military retirees acquire homes in the city. This fact also heightens the confidence of real estate investors in the area.
According to data from the Department of Defense, almost 40,000 military retirees and 7,000 surviving spouses live in the Tampa Bay area, with easy access to MacDill. These retirees spend about $2.11 billion yearly buying goods and services from Tampa Bay businesses, professionals, and asset owners.
In addition, there are more than 17,000 active-duty military members, civilian employees, military reservists, guard members and their families spending about $2.87 billion yearly, creating and sustaining jobs, businesses and real estate properties in the area.
As more military personnel consider the Tampa area as their eventual retirement place because of services they can get from MacDill and medical facilities in the area, property owners and investors can expect to get more rental or purchase offers.
The annual USAF air show and construction projects inside the base are also significant income producers for Tampa Bay residents. Out-of-state residents that travel to Tampa solely for the Great Air Show are additional sources of tourism dollars. Construction crews, together with their contractors, earn good income from their building activities inside MacDill.
An ongoing construction project inside the base is the new headquarters of the U.S. Central Command which will cost almost $80 million. This project has already created about 1,000 jobs in the area.
There are other construction projects inside the base, which are not only creating construction jobs but also support jobs such as installation and maintenance of high-tech equipment. A secure information facility for the U.S. Special Operations Command costing $10.5 million is set to be completed in October 2012. Including the U.S. Central Command’s headquarters project, this group of seven construction projects is valued at more than $130 million.
More construction projects are expected inside MacDill, as more military building proposals go through the congressional funding process. One of these is a proposal by the Special Operations Command to build a $33-million Joint Special Operations University campus.
Among possible projects in the future are new hangars for KC-46A aerial refueling tankers, which are larger than the KC-135 Stratotankers. The road network inside the base is also set to be improved to reduce traffic inside the base.
All in all, the MacDill Air Force Base is an economic energizer for the Tampa Bay area, boosting the Tampa real estate market and all other business activities in Hillsborough and nearby counties.