FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska – On Wednesday, Fort Wainwright held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new section of the Bear Paw neighborhood, a collection of eight newly constructed four-plex homes for junior noncommissioned officer families.
The completion of the neighborhood, managed by North Haven Communities, LLC, was the last component of their $51 million out-year development program started in 2019.
A highlight of the ceremony was when leaders from Fort Wainwright, NHC and Lendlease welcomed Sgt. Damian McGregor, his wife Rebekka, and their children to their new home, cutting a large yellow ribbon in front of the door and handing them the keys. Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Brig. Gen. Louis Lapointe, deputing commanding general of U.S. Army Alaska; Col. Nathan Surrey, Fort Wainwright garrison commander; and Ron Johnson; NHC project director. Participants from Lendlease Communities included Jerry Schmitz, regional vice president; Phillip Carpenter, chief operating officer; and Carolyn Tregarthen, managing director, who also provided remarks.
“Driven by North Haven Communities’ and Lendlease’s commitment to provide outstanding communities where military families live, work, and thrive, the design, procurement, and new home construction began in the spring of 2020, continued through the arctic winter months, bringing us to where we are today—so very proud to deliver 32 new 3-bedroom, junior NCO homes in the completed Bear Paw neighborhood,” she said.
Both Johnson and Surrey spoke about speed and skill of the work crews who worked year-round to complete the work in about a year and a half.
Surrey stated he wanted “to recognize the level of effort it takes to accomplish the task of constructing and opening a new neighborhood, especially with the added complexities of a short construction season and extreme weather conditions.”
North Haven Communities LLC is a partnership between Lendlease and the U.S. Army that has financed, developed, designed, and constructed 400 new homes and renovated 287 existing homes at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks and Fort Greely in Delta Junction. The privatization of housing on the two installations was the last Army Residential Communities Initiative project awarded. Established in 2009, NHC has invested over $412M at Ft. Wainwright and Fort Greely and is responsible for ongoing property and maintenance management of the housing assets through 2057.
Tregarthen also spoke about the importance of the recently formed resident advisory board consisting of current NHC residents, remarking, “We listen to the needs of our residents through our first-of-its-kind resident advisory boards and collaborate with local military leaders and community members to determine priority improvements.”