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.


We've 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 a password.

BRAC (Base ​Realignment and Closure) Updates

DOD asks for another round of military base closures, (KOTA Territory News, Jun 1, 2017)

Trump's budget calls for new base closing round in 2021, (Military Times, May 23, 2017)

Pentagon to Congress: We Need Base Closures, (DefenseNews, Apr 15, 2016)

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Sites by State, (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Apr. 8, 2016)

BRAC Is Back – but Will Congress Actually Close More Military Bases?, (The Fiscal Times, Mar. 8, 2016)

Realigning and Closing Military Bases, (U.S. General Accounting Office)

How Does a Base Closing Impact a Community?

BRAC 2021 Could Impact Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene Economy, Businesses, (Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc., May 30, 2017)

Military’s Impact on State Economies, (National Conference on State Legislatures, Feb. 21, 2017)

Report: All Jobs Lost Through San Bernardino Base Closure Have Been Restored, (The Sun, Dec. 14, 2016)

Challenges Remain 20 years after Loring Air Force Base Closure, (Bangor Daily News, Oct. 17, 2014) E

Rebuilding Communities after the Military Leaves Town, (Yale University, Feb. 27, 2014)

Closing Bases Can Be Good for Business, Brookings Scholars Say; Some Locals May Want Them Shuttered, (Breaking Defense, July 2, 2013)

Real Estate Opportunities, and Tips for Buying Land on Closing Bases

Transforming Kelly AFB: From Military Base to Job-Growth Engine, (Rivard Report, Jan. 20, 2017)

The Best Military Towns for Investing, (REALTOR® Magazine, Aug. 29, 2016)

DTSC Clears 113,000 Acres for New Development, (California Department of Toxic Substances, Jun. 16, 2016)

The Ten Most Impressive Abandoned Military Bases in the World, (Jalopnik, Feb. 21, 2014)

U.S. Military Bases: Where Are They Now?, (Esquire, 2012)

Repurposing Military Bases, (Institute for Policy Studies, Dec. 15, 2011)

Potential Dangers on Former Military Base Land

The US Military is Facing Another Polluted Drinking Water Scandal, (Business Insider, Apr. 26, 2017)

Tainted Water Near Colorado Bases Hints at Wider Safety Concerns, (The New York Times, Jul. 25, 2016)

Former Military Sites In Montauk And Westhampton Might Contain Hazardous Waste, (The East Hampton Press, May 12, 2014)

Toxic water near old Michigan Air Force base prompts new scrutiny, (MLive Michigan, May 20, 2016)

Cleaning Up the Toxic Legacy of Closed Military Bases, (DailyFinance, Sep. 24, 2010)

Unexploded Ordnance: Hidden Danger on Military Bases, (Rand Corporation)

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.

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

U.S. Department of Defense, (United States Department of Defense) — Federal website with updates on the latest news about base closures.

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.

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.

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, n.d.)

Beyond the Fence: A REALTORS® Guide to Military Base Closure, Realignment and Encroachment, (National Association of REALTORS®, Oct. 2006).

Primer: Understanding Military Base Realignment and Closure, (ABC News)—Facts and figures about what it all means.

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.

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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