An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Signed lease signals Kirtland research park underway

  • Published
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Air Force and Thunderbird Kirtland Development, LLC, recently reached agreement and signed a long-term lease to begin developing a planned commercial research park at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

The agreement, part of the Air Force’s Enhanced Use Lease program, clears the way for development of about 21 acres of a 70-acre parcel on Kirtland’s base perimeter. Under the EUL program, the Air Force leases underutilized, non-access land to private developers, in exchange for cash or in-kind consideration at or above fair market value. The Air Force Civil Engineer Center, a primary subordinate unit of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, manages the program. 

The proposed 350,000-square-foot, mixed-use development is compatible with City of Albuquerque’s strategic plans, enables professional job growth and provides new tax revenue for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, said Robert Moriarty, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations.

“With this agreement, it is great to know that not only will the Air Force and developer benefit from development of the property, but so will the local community,” he said. 
When Kirtland AFB leadership developed the idea for the EUL, they envision a commercial research park where academic and defense industry entities collaborate with their federal partners in the development of cutting edge research and technology, said Martin Briseno, AFCEC’s project manager for the EUL. The Air Force and Thunderbird Kirtland reached an agreement to lease in 2019.  

“The EUL allows for a better utilization of Kirtland’s corridor to further our science and technology.  It will enable advances that contribute to the local community as well as our nation’s defense,” said Col. Dave Miller, the 377th Air Base Wing and Kirtland Installation commander.  “The lease will enable Team Kirtland to propel development and maturation of technologies for the Air Force, as well as provide employment opportunities and economic growth to our Albuquerque neighbors.”

“We are excited for the opportunity to work on this transformative project which will turn prime, underutilized land into a lively mixed-use center for government contractors, base employees and the general public,” said Dale Dekker, of Thunderbird Kirtland Development. “We believe this project will not only economically benefit the immediate area, but the city and state by creating new opportunities for collaboration and innovation.”

Thunderbird Kirtland is marketing the EUL to private sector contractors interested in relocating all or part of their operations to the EUL, Dekker said, so they can be closer to their mission partners on or near Kirtland AFB.  Potential mission partners near the EUL include Sandia National Laboratories, the Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, the Department of Energy and a Veterans Administration hospital.