Lendlease expands US military housing portfolio

Dive Brief:

  • Lendlease will break ground later this year on the U.S. Army’s first new privatized housing project in 13 years, the Australian-based global real estate manager and developer announced Tuesday. It already owns and manages 40,000 U.S. military homes.
  • The housing project is part of a larger acquisition, as the company has closed ground leases across seven Army installations, establishing what it calls the Cadence Communities portfolio. It contains 345 existing, newly privatized family units, and new construction of 475 homes, along with 60 apartment units. 
  • The move aligns with the company’s strategic shift toward less risky investment and management strategies, after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic struck Lendlease’s profits hard.

Dive Insight:

At the end of the company’s full fiscal year 2023, CEO Tony Lombardo said Lendlease was in year two of a five-year pivot to its investment-led strategy. That pivot includes halting builds for external projects below AU$150 million ($94.7 million) and apartments for sale for third parties.

Army installations with properties newly managed by Lendlease include:

  • Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico.
  • Fort Hunter Liggett in California.
  • Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.
  • U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Doral, Florida.
  • Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois.
  • Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Massachusetts.
  • Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania.

In late 2023, Lendlease will break ground on housing in Doral for SOUTHCOM personnel — the Army’s first such project in over a dozen years. The $110 million development will include 75 family housing units and 60 two-bedroom apartments for “unaccompanied service members.” Lendlease will construct the houses on about 51 acres.

The housing will provide more affordable options for housing for SOUTHCOM personnel — Doral is in Miami-Dade County, which has a high cost of living. 

The Cadence Communities portfolio will also include 17 new family units under construction in Fort Buchanan, along with the fort’s 29 existing units. Lendlease will manage those units when completed, expected by the end of 2024.

Finally, Lendlease said it will look for operational efficiencies and improvements — including renovations —  for residents at the other Army installations in the portfolio.

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