With another round of military base closings possibly slated for 2017, we examine the pros and cons of these closings and the effect on real estate and the communities surrounding them. Also examined are the real estate opportunities that arise from the closures, and the potential for toxic waste in these lands.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.

BRAC (Base ​Realignment and Closure) Updates

What Will it Take to Move 12,000 Troops from Germany? Closures, Time, and Lots of Money (Military News, Jul. 30, 2020)

Time for Another BRAC: If Pentagon Says Bases Aren’t Needed, Politicians Should Listen (Houston Chronicle, Dec. 20, 2019)

Plans for a New Base Closing Round May be Running out of Time: Report (Military Times, Aug. 15, 2019)

Heritage Foundation: The Time is Right to Call for BRAC (Air Force Magazine, Aug. 15, 2019)

Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC): Background Issues for Congress (Congressional Research Service, Apr. 25, 2019)

How Does a Base Closing Impact a Community?

“Something is Ending”: German Towns Braced for US Military Exit (Financial Times, Aug. 13, 2020)

How to “Salvage Community” after Military Base Closure (CATO Institute, Sep. 5, 2019)

New Jersey’s Military Bases Drive Economic Activity (NJTV News, Jul. 26, 2019)

Buying Land on Closing or Closed Bases

After 25 Years, Charleston’s Shuttered Navy Base Still has “a Long Way to Go” (The Post and Courier, Aug. 19, 2020)

As Michigan Makes PFAS Strides, Oscoda Residents Say Air Force is Stalling (Bridge, Aug. 17, 2020)

Former Base is Booming (Comstock Mag, Jul. 16, 2019)

Former Military Bases Find New Purpose Through E-Commerce (The New York Times, Jun. 18, 2019)

Military Base Reuse: As Closures and Realignments March on, so do Real Estate Opportunities (Certified Commercial Investment Member)

Potential Dangers on Former Military Base Land

Here’s the Latest Count of Suspected Bases with Toxic “Forever Chemicals” in the Water (Military Times, Apr. 06, 2020)

Military Housing Privatization Initiative Tenant Bill of Rights Signed by Secretary Esper (United States Department of Defense, Feb. 25, 2020)

PFAS Investigation Will Accelerate at Long-Closed Michigan Military Base (M Live, Jul. 1, 2019)

A Trail of Toxicity: The US Military Bases Making People Sick (The Guardian, May 23, 2019)

Feds Formally Launch Investigation of Carcinogens on Military Bases (Military Times, Feb. 21, 2019)

Legacy of Contamination: A California Naval Base Shutters, and Contamination Lingers Decades Later (Reuters, Jan. 31, 2019)

Useful Websites

Association of Defense Communities — ADC is the connection point for leaders from communities, states, the military and industry on community-military issues and installation management to enhance knowledge, information sharing and best practices.

GAO U.S. Government Accountability Office — The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

U.S. Department of Defense — Federal website with updates on the latest news about base closures.

United States Environmental Protection Agency — The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. EPA’s purpose is to ensure that: all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work.

Military Real Estate Primer (Harry H. Kelso, Attorney and Environmental Consultant)—Site includes lists of recent base closures, types of military real estate, and formerly used defense sites.

MRP (National Association of REALTORS®) — The Military Relocation Professional (MRP) certification is for real estate professionals who want to work with current and former military service members.

Base Realignment and Closure Program (HUD Exchange, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Sites by State (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

eBooks & Other Resources

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Military Base Closure: A Reference Handbook (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007) HC 79 So6

Military Base Closures (Chicago, IL: Novinka Books, 2003) HC 79 L81

Sustainable Regeneration of Former Military Sites (London: Routledge, 2016) HC79.D4

Life After Defense: Conversion and Economic Adjustment on Long Island (Picsataway, NJ : Rutgers University. Center for Urban Policy Research, 1994) HC 79r

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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.