Private/Public Partnership: Harbor Group International Oversees Completion of Seven USO Centers throughout U.S.

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Construction and Development division of International Real Estate Investment Firm Develops Centers to Support Troops and their Families

Working in a strategic alliance with the USO (United Service Organizations), Harbor Group International, LLC (HGI), an international real estate investment firm based in Norfolk, VA, was the project manager for seven recently completed USO centers designed and built for U.S. troops and their families on and near military bases in Dover, DE; Junction City, Kansas; San Antonio, TX; El Paso, TX; and Richmond, VA.

Conceived as a “public/private” partnership, Harbor Group International was selected to provide project management and consulting services, which include due diligence, lease compliance and assembling the project teams of architects, engineers and contractors to design and deliver space for the geographic expansion of the USO. Currently, Harbor Group International is assisting with five new projects in the USO pipeline.

The first three projects, all at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, included the Families of the Fallen Center, which opened January 2010. The 6,000-square-foot facility was designed and redeveloped from its original use in 90 days with a $1 million budget to serve as a gathering place for families of war casualties.

Following a tour at the Center, Delaware’s Governor Jack A. Markell wrote in a letter to Harbor Group International, “Your achievement in cooperation with the USAF at The Families of the Fallen Support Center is truly exceptional and has quite deservedly received national prominence. Moreover, the speed at which the team delivered this worthy project is remarkable…It is a privilege to add my appreciation for your contributions to the military, the base, and the State of Delaware.”

Other USO centers that HGI helped complete this year, include:

  •     USO San Antonio, a 5,100-square-foot facility that re-opened in early April following extensive renovations, which were implemented in under three months. The center serves troops stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base and Brooks Air Force Base, as well as recovering troops from Brook Army Medical Center. Located in downtown San Antonio, adjacent to the city’s historic Riverwalk, it is anticipated that this facility will provide programs and services to more than 89,000 troops and their families. Among its many features are a computer area with Internet access; theater room; lounge area with televisions, recliners, Xbox® 360 stations and pool tables; children’s room; four additional gaming rooms with Nintendo® WII™ and Xbox® 360 stations; United Through Reading® recording area; and fully stocked snack bar with ice cream stations.
  •     USO Fort Bliss, a 6,400-square-foot facility that opened in partnership with FirstLight Federal Credit Union to serve more than 37,000 troops and 53,000 military family members. The second USO facility in El Paso, Texas, it has more than 30 Internet-enabled computer stations, three flat screen televisions, Blu-ray players, six Xbox® 360 consoles, pool tables, kitchen area, lounge, lending library, snack bar and large outdoor patio.
  •     USO Fort Riley, a 7,000-square-foot facility serving more than 23,000 troops and family members stationed at one of the U.S. Army’s largest stateside bases. The center is open 365 days a year and offers a computer lab with nine stations and WiFi connectivity, video gaming room, library, family room, movie theater with a large DVD and Blu-ray library, nine televisions, United Through Reading® recording area, outdoor patio, snack bar and fireplace lounges.

“Our skill set matches well to the USO’s needs and our expertise ensures great execution,” said Alan Dworetzky, a Harbor Group International managing director. “Working with the USO and Department of Defense is extremely rewarding because we share a common goal to deliver centers used by our brave troops and their families.”

“Because of the work of Harbor Group International, we have been able to extend the comforts of home to thousands more troops and their families,” said Sloan Gibson, USO president. “The newest state-of-the-art USO centers will lift their spirits and we look forward to many more upcoming projects.”

Additional USO projects in the works include: Norfolk, VA, Ft. Campbell, KY, Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ.

Added Jordan E. Slone, CEO of Harbor Group International, “It has been an honor to participate in this initiative to provide services and respite to our heroic troops and their families.”

About Harbor Group International, LLC
Harbor Group International, LLC is a private real estate investment and management firm that controls a portfolio of worldwide assets valued in excess of $2.7 billion. Headquartered in Norfolk, VA, it has offices in New York, Chicago, London, Toronto and Tel Aviv. Its real estate holdings include over 9.6 million square feet of commercial space and more than 15,000 apartment units. Additional information about Harbor Group may be found at http://www.harborgroupint.com.

About the USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. It provides a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases around the world, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services tailored to meet troop needs. The organization also provides critical support to those who need it most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families, and families of the fallen.

The USO is a private non-profit organization, not a government agency; and relies on the generosity of its donors. In addition to individual donors and other corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners, American Airlines, AT&T, Inc., BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Gallery Furniture, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation and TriWest Healthcare Alliance, as well as other corporate donors, including the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). The organization strives to deliver maximum benefit for troops and their families from every donor dollar. More information may be found at http://www.uso.org.

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Linda S. Alexander
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