New life for Fort Monroe

Posted at 9:46 PM, Jul 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-27 21:46:08-04

Former Army installation Fort Monroe is getting new life in Hampton.

This week the former Bay Breeze Community Center re-opened as the Paradise Ocean Club, a social club.

A potential bed & breakfast as well as residential and retail properties are also in the works. 

"Fort Monroe is coming back to life again," says Fort Monroe Authority Executive Director Glenn Oder.

It's all part of a vision the authority has worked on with the National Park Service to have people live, work and play on the Fort Monroe property.

"As folks find out about the Fort being open and available, they are coming in droves and we want them to come even more," said Fort Monroe National Monument Supervisor Kirsten Talken-Spaulding.

A big draw is the plethora of options visitors have when they come to Fort Monroe.

"This Fort is kind of interesting in the fact that a lot places that you go to you think of this as a history park, or this is a natural park or this is a place that you can go to recreate and really Fort Monroe is all three,"  Talken-Spaulding explained.

Part of the master plan is getting folks to live in the former Army housing.

Of 174 houses on the Fort Monroe property, 100 have been leased, beating the goal the Authority had to get 75 leased this year.

"The most significant component of the master plan right now is the historic buildings that are currently on the property," Oder explained. "Many of these buildings are going to be turned over back to the Commonwealth of Virginia in the very near future.

Once those properties are turned over, the Authority will then be responsible for security, maintenance and up-keep.