Earlier this week, Governor Bob McDonnell signed a quitclaim deed and authorized the execution of the Memorandum of Understanding for the transition plan and the Right-of-Entry agreement for the maintenance and operation of the utility systems at Fort Monroe.
The quitclaim deed brings 312 acres back into the ownership and control of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Memorandum of Understanding and the Right-of-Entry agreements outline the joint operations of utilities, property maintenance, and security of the property during the period of time that the Department of the Army and the FMA negotiate the remaining property ownership issues.
Speaking about the action, Governor McDonnell remarked, "We are pleased that a portion of Fort Monroe is being reunified with the Commonwealth. We look forward to continuing the work with the Secretary of the Army to secure the remaining portions of Fort Monroe, as well as the transfer to the National Park Service."
"This is a critical first step in receiving all of the property back into the ownership of the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Glenn Oder, Executive Director of the Fort Monroe Authority. "Negotiations continue on additional parcels of land at the 565-acre site. Our team has worked tirelessly to ensure the interests of the citizens of the Commonwealth were protected in this transfer and that environmental and other key issues were adequately addressed. This will allow the Fort Monroe Authority to continue its success in bringing people back to Fort Monroe. We will also continue to work with the National Park Service to transfer property to them as soon as possible."
Fort Monroe was an Army installation from 1781 until September 2011 when it was deactivated as a result of the 2005 BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure Commission). Its major tenant, TRACDOC (Training and Doctrine Command) was relocated to JBLE (Joint Base Langley-Eustis) at Fort Eustis, VA. On November 1, 2011 President Obama declared Fort Monroe a National Monument under the Antiquities Act. Fort Monroe has had a significant part in the history of our nation spanning over 400 years-from the journeys of Captain John Smith, a haven of freedom for the enslaved during the Civil War, and a bastion of defense for the Chesapeake Bay.
Work is continuing on the development of a master plan for the long-term vision for Fort Monroe. That process, which has included several public meetings and community input, is expected to be completed sometime this summer. Meanwhile, the transformation of Fort Monroe is already taking place. The Fort Monroe Authority will continue to partner with the City of Hampton and the National Park Service as Fort Monroe becomes a popular place to live, work, find entertainment, enjoy nature, and learn about history.
"We are pleased with the number of home rentals, new businesses, and the people who are coming to enjoy the Casemate Museum and public programs at Fort Monroe," Oder said. "It is clear that people appreciate not only the history and beauty of this property, but the wonderful opportunities that it offers."
For more information, contact Phyllis Terrell, 757-251-2754 or PTerrell@fmauthority.com.