Sunday, May 22, 2011


They say the proof is in the pudding. The latest story illustrate this and reiterates the positive impact Vision Airlines is having on our economy, specifically the vacation rentals and transient lodging and all the other things surrounding it in our area. As Greg Donovan, Airport Director, stated, more is on the way. Stay tuned.

Airport sets passenger record in April
Director: Vision Airlines expansion boosted totals
Northwest Florida Daily News 315-4448
Northwest Florida Regional Airport had the busiest month in its 54-year history in April. The airport had 96,788 passengers, up 43 percent from April 2010. Last month’s figure also outpaced the airport’s previous high set in July 2001 by more than 13 percent. “When these certified numbers come in, it’s a great validation of what you know, that (Northwest Florida Regional Airport is) a tremendous product,” said Greg Donovan, Okaloosa County’s airports director. “I think we’re going to go into summer and break records on a consistent basis through the summer. I was very excited about it. I wasn’t surprised, and I think there’s a lot more to come.” Donovan said Vision Airlines, which expanded its service to 15 new destinations in late March and early April, was the overwhelming reason for the large increase.
“But all of the airlines were up, and I think some of that comes with overall increases in tourism, business activities, and certainly we’re seeing the beginning effects of the 7th Special Forces and their families coming in,” Donovan said. So far in 2011, passengers at Northwest Florida Regional are up almost 20 percent. It is not the only area airport doing well this year. Passengers at Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport were up 6.2 percent in April. Figures showed business at Mobile, Ala., Regional Airport was up 3.1 percent. Figures for the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Bay County were not available. “Everybody’s doing good, and that’s a real positive point,” Donovan said. “When I see that other airports are also doing well, not this dramatic, it’s an indicator to me that we’re mining new passengers all together, not stealing market share from one another.” Wayne Harris, an Okaloosa County commissioner and executive director of the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce, said he was excited to hear Northwest Florida Regional had broken its passenger record. “We labored through the thing with Southwest (Airlines) and Bay County, but this to me just proves out that we’re the right location,” Harris said. “That’s why Vision chose us and look at what Vision brought to us compared to just one airline. Southwest would have brought a couple airplanes and some people. Vision brings in ($160 million) in economic impact and 4,200 jobs. That’s absolutely significant.”

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I guess the secret is out. Destin and the surrounding area is a place you want to make it your home. This news and the others news being disseminated in various venues has triggered the phones to ring off the hook. Vacation rentals and second homes are receiving multiple offers and in some cases being sold above asking price. Who would of known? The folks buying knew and more are following.

10 Best Places To Live & Boat by Boating Magazine
Looking for a new boating home? Our list of 10 best places can help you find one!
By Steve Griffin

Everybody likes their “home waters.” But facts are facts: Some places are nicer than others. Maybe it’s the water or the land that contains it. Perhaps it’s the people, or maybe the lack of them! Easy access? That can be nice, but “hard to reach” sometimes means “hard to beat.” And some places are just plain boaty. Over the decades, our editors have boated hundreds of idyllic waters in the United States. We’ve tapped our experiences, chatted up other boaters and even checked in with web surfers to help us refine this list of our 10 favorite boater-friendly spots in the Lower 48. We considered livability, public access, convenience and also relaxing getaways that should please anyone looking for a primary or secondary boating home.
Gulf of MexicoDestin, Florida
Destin is perfectly situated to celebrate in style the aquatic wonder known as the Gulf of Mexico.
Located on Florida’s Panhandle midway between Pensacola and Panama City, Destin offers snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, light-tackle fishing, trolling and deep-sea bottom-fishing. Sugar-sand beaches and barrier islands are as abundant as dining, shopping and golfing.
Boaters find the bay and Intracoastal Waterway beginner-friendly; the active east Pass into the Gulf of Mexico, with its tides, currents and swells, calls for a more experienced hand.
To celebrate water with friends new and old, visit Crab Island, an “underwater island,” for boating and partying on the north side of the Destin bridge. In summer, a barge and boat vendors sell burgers, ice cream, steamed shrimp and other culinary treats.
Plentiful vacation rentals include home and condo rentals. Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa is a luxury hotel with a AAA four-diamond restaurant, seven miles of beach and bayfront, four championship golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, kids’ programs and more.
Sandestin’s 98-slip, open-to-the-public Baytowne Marina welcomes boats up to 140 feet. The marina staff provides personal concierge services — arranging tee times, restaurant reservations and tram service. Other marinas dot the coastline.
Fun Fact: The nearby beaches of South Walton boast 17 coastal dune lakes. Separating them by sand from the Gulf, their dune barriers are breached several times a year to mix fresh and salt water.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion. It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble. It i s the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the VETERAN, not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


As Paul Harvey would say, “and the rest of the story”. To ensure everyone has a better understanding of this phenomenon you need to review the Purpose of and Need for Action in the Environmental Impact Statement for the Military Housing Privatization. In short, the Air Force is conveying 1413 housing units located on Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field. Of these units, the Contractor will demolish up to 1404 dwellings and construct up to 1477 new units in phases. 548 units will be at Hurlburt and 929 Units at Eglin. To understand the supply side of this military housing equation, we had approximately 2750 housing units until recently. 2750 – 1477 = 1273 less military homes available for occupancy. On the demand side of the military housing need during this same period, take into consideration 7th Special Forces and F-35 Training Squadron only (Approximately 4000 military personnel). Now do the math, 4000 (Demand) less supply (1273) = 5273. Note: This is just the BRAC related move into our area. Now take into consideration, Growth of Crestview Industrial Airpark, Vision Airlines move HUB here, other military units being moved not associated with BRAC, and the many other businesses/institutions moving here, and I believe you will have some interesting times in the housing market. Also, the note of 20,000 vacant homes available. This number included all the Vacation/second home CONDOS, and a large number of homes you wouldn’t put your dog into. Oh by the way, did I tell you I was a Former Military Housing Director for the South United States.

Air Force selects housing contractor
Picerne Military Housing will build privatized houses at Eglin and Hurlburt
Northwest Florida Daily News 315-4443

Although it still is undecided where to build privatized housing at Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field, there now is a contractor to do the job. The Air Force announced this week that Picerne Military Housing will build the homes and then be the landlord to active-duty service members for the next 50 years. In addition to Eglin and Hurlburt, the Air Force contract includes Edwards Air Force Base, Calif; Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska; McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.; and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. The deal, valued at more than $545 million, will provide new and renovated housing for 4,188 military families. Under the agreement, the developer will build up to 929 homes at Eglin and 484 homes on Hurlburt. Bill Mulvey, vice president of communication for Picerne Military Housing, said the Rhode Island company will be the general contractor during construction and subcontract work to local companies. Mulvey said about 70 percent of the subcontractors will be local. What Picerne calls “local” varies from job to job. Local subcontractors will go through a prequalification process. Information about the project is available on the company’s website and will be explained at upcoming job fairs. Subcontractor registration forms also are available online. The company might even subcontract different builders for each initial neighborhood and then pick the best one to finish the job. Construction will start with a new development for Hurlburt families now living in base housing slated for demolition. Picerne was active in shaping the process of privatizing housing in the 1990s and started privatizing Army bases a few years later. The company has built and renovated 20,000 homes on seven Army posts. Representatives from Picerne and the Air Force will spend the next few weeks finalizing plans. Until the exact plans are determined, renderings of the homes and their amenities will not be available. Mulvey said Picerne expects to be ready to start the project by October. Each base’s neighborhood will borrow architecture styles from its region and include amenities specific to its environment, said Mulvey. He cited Eielson as an example. The company proposed an indoor water park for the Alaska base because families are indoors most of the year. Eglin and Hurlburt would not necessarily need indoor recreation. Mulvey said the company will hold focus groups in the early stages of the project to determine what military families want. In the past, families have asked for more storage space, kitchen islands and larger master bedrooms. The base neighborhoods will have a few things in common. Each will include a pool, playground, tennis courts and neighborhood center. At some of the Army bases, the neighborhood centers resemble resorts. They include a movie room with stadium seating; meeting rooms; an indoor basketball court and gym; and a community room for parties. Mulvey said the quality of the designs and the efficient customer service provided by employees earned the company top ratings in numerous surveys. “Our motto is ‘families first.’ We really take good care of the families,” Mulvey said. Leasing prices are capped at military housing allowances. The occupancy rates at most of the Army posts are about 93 percent. There is a waiting list at some bases. If there are homes that active duty military do not rent, the company will ask the Air Force who it wants to get the one-year leases. Usually, it is Department of Defense employees or retirees. The homes will be a mix of duplexes, single-family and townhomes averaging about 1,650 square feet. Each will have either a carport or a garage. There has been no decision where the new local neighborhoods will be. Eglin officials would not offer a timeline. Mulvey said the project must be completed within five years of its starting date. At public hearings in January, the list was narrowed to sites near White Point; Eglin main and Valparaiso; and Poquito Bayou. Some residents have opposed the plans. They have said the area has enough vacant homes for sale or rent to accommodate service members. Statistics appear to back them up. Figures released by the state said the 2010 census counted more than 20,000 vacant homes in Okaloosa County, or 14 times the number of homes Picerne will build in the area.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Okay folks, if you want to understand why the Vacation Rental Market is booming and the Vacation Rentals are selling, now you can begin to understand. Our sister company, Southern Resorts, reported today the phones are ringing off the hooks. I am sure the fact that Vision Airlines has set up their HUB in Fort Walton here hasn’t hurt either.

Tripadvisor names Destin to Top 25 list
Katy Houghton
Florida Freedom Newspapers
Here is's list of the top 25 U.S. destinations:
1. New York City, N.Y.
2. Honolulu, Hawaii
3. San Francisco, Calif.
4. Las Vegas, Nev.
5. Lahaina, Hawaii
6. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
7. New Orleans, La.
8. San Diego, Calif.
9. Sedona, Ariz.
10. Seattle, Wash.
11. Anchorage, Alaska
12. Chicago, Ill.
13. Boston, Mass.
14. Estes Park, Colo.
15. Washington, D.C.
16. Poipu, Hawaii
17. Orlando, Fla.
18. Big Sur, Calif.
19. Bar Harbor, Maine
20. Carmel, Calif.
21. Destin, Fla.
22. Savannah, Ga.
23. Gatlinburg, Tenn.
24. Miami Beach, Fla.
25. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The “beautiful, clear green water” and “extremely fine, soft sand” of Destin’s beaches landed the city on’s “Top 25 Destinations in the United States” list. “When you’re a top 25 destination on a highly respected travel site like Tripadvisor, you immediately earn the respect of people who research vacation destinations,” said Shane Moody, the president and CEO of the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce. “We’re a true family resort, we’re easy to reach via car and our amenities are truly world class.” Destin placed No. 21 on the site below vacation hot spots such as New York City, Las Vegas, Orlando and Kailua-Kona but above other Southeastern destinations such as Myrtle Beach and Miami Beach. “I think the beaches and the water are much bigger draws than other beach communities,” Moody said. “And we’re not nearly as large as those areas, but you still get the big city opportunities with our shopping, dining and recreational activities in fishing and golf.” Mayor Sam Seevers said she believes it’s those things that placed Destin above other cities. “It’s our water, the East Pass and the harbor,” she said. “Nobody else has that. And we’re the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” Seevers said she believes the rest of the world is finally finding out what locals already know: Destin is the best vacation spot. “By having this tool in our toolbox, we will be able to get more folks interested in the area,” she said. “Any type of advertising we have to publicize Destin, we need to take advantage of. This will be good for all businesses.” The mayor commended the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council for its work promoting the Emerald Coast after the negative impact from the media surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill last year. “Since day one of the oil spill, they have been proactive putting together the right advertisements at the right time,” she said. “Mark Bellinger and his staff did a great job getting people the right information.” Tripadvisor also ranked traveler-recommended attractions at each destination. Just Chute Me Para-sail took the top spot in Destin for its “professional and highly experienced captain and crew.” Owner Kevin Sherman said his employees are the heart of his business. Just Chute Me, located at 500 Harbor Blvd., has held the No. 1 seat for the past four years. “We’re honest people, we give people their money’s worth and we don’t hassle them,” Sherman said. “We treat people the way they want to be treated. We want to make them happy.”


The speedway to the east, from the north part of Okaloosa County (Crestview) to the south part (Destin), is starting to take shape. See the illustration of the By-Pass below. As this Mid-Bay Bridge Connector is completed, you will see how easy it will be to commute from the North to the South of Okaloosa County with both Niceville and Crestview being a major benefactor.

Bridge connector to open
1st section of Mid-Bay Bridge Connector to see traffic Thursday
Northwest Florida Daily News 315-4438
NICEVILLE — Motorists who travel the Mid-Bay Bridge are in for major changes this week. A section of the first phase of the Mid-Bay Bridge Connector will open to traffic at 9 p.m. Thursday. The Mid-Bay Bridge Authority will mark its completion in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that morning. “We’re really excited about it,” said Bridge Authority board member Jimmy Nielson. “Phase one has gone exceptionally well.” The 1.5-mile stretch of road, which cost $24 million to build, will connect the north end of the bridge to State Road 20. “People will be able to go from point A, the toll booth, to (State Road) 20 direct,” Nielson said. The initial portion of the connector will allow motorists to bypass White Point Road. “White Point Road will revert back to a residential county road,” said Jim Vest, the Bridge Authority’s executive director. “It’s going to relieve all that congestion.” Bridge Authority members say the new configuration also will provide a better evacuation route in case of a hurricane. “What it’s going to do is make a good, even flow of traffic,” Nielson said. The entire first phase, which ultimately will connect to Range Road, is scheduled to be completed in early July, Vest said. The second phase of the project will stretch about 5.6 miles from Range Road to State Road 285. The third and final phase will run about 2.5 miles from SR 285 to State Road 85 north of College Boulevard. It should be completed by 2014.
The entire project is expected to cost about $174 million. Vest said the Bridge Authority wanted to open the first section of the connector well before the end of May to get locals accustomed to the new route before tourism increases. “We always get a big influx on Memorial Day weekend,” he said. “It’s going to be a different traffic pattern, that’s for sure.” On Friday, toll booth operators began passing out leaflets on the changes to drivers in the cash lanes, Vest said.

At 9 p.m. Thursday, access to the Mid-Bay Bridge from White Point Road will be closed. Residents along White Point will be able to access the connector at the North Lakeshore Drive interchange.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Just another reason why Northwest Florida is on the radar screen for people and companies to move to our area. Great weather, Great Beaches, Great Schools, I-10 Corridor. Why wouldn’t you move here.

Local schools shine on FCAT writing
Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa students among best in Florida
Northwest Florida Daily News 315-4440
Local schools once again have excelled on the writing portion of the FCAT despite increasingly rigorous standards. Students in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties performed, on average, at or above statewide levels, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Education. Fourth-, eighth-, and 10th-grade students took the writing exam in March. School officials across the area were pleased with the scores. Santa Rosa County did the best overall, with Okaloosa and Walton counties close behind. “I’m ecstatic,” Walton County Superintendent of Schools Carlene Anderson said of the results. Her district was tied for fifth statewide with Santa Rosa County for fourth-grade writing. Walton students tied for fifth with Okaloosa for eighth-grade writing and tied in sixth with Okaloosa in 10th-grade writing. Two elementary schools, Maude Sanders and Freeport, improved 40 and 42 percentage points, respectively, in the number of students who scored a 4 or higher compared to last year, Anderson said. A score of 4 indicates that students are performing at grade level. “We have done things differently at the schools,” Anderson said. “It’s been some very individualized diagnostic work done with our teachers and children.” In Okaloosa, several schools also saw large percentage jumps. Edge Elementary had 97 percent of its fourth-graders receive a 4 or higher on the exam, said Guyla Hendricks, the school district’s chief officer for quality assurance and curriculum. “We realize that teaching writing is a complex process, but an important skill for future success in careers and college for our students,” Superintendent of Schools Alexis Tibbetts said. Santa Rosa County saw an increase in the number of students who received a 4 or higher at all elementary schools, eight out of nine middle schools and six out of seven high schools. “Obviously, our teachers and students rose to the occasion,” said Bill Emerson, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment. “They impress me more each time I get an opportunity to see how they do.” Students’ test scores should be mailed to school districts by May 12 to send to parents, according to a news release from the Department of Education. The test was scored on a scale of 1 to 6. In a departure from previous years, the DOE is in the process of increasing the minimum score necessary to be considered proficient from a 3.5 to a 4 for the current school year.


They keep coming. In a recent briefing with the Eglin Base Commander, he noted Eglin is in one of the best position to provide cost effectiveness in the delivery of military missions in the future and could see additional growth in the area, which would save the government money. With all of the talk of reducing the federal budget and the strategic location of Eglin, it stands to reason more consolidation at Eglin is in the future. P.S. - I will put by money on Duke Field (Adjacent to Crestview) for the unit. Keep in mind, Dr. Hsu, one of the leaders in Drone Technology, just opened a Aerospace Technology Park at the Crestview Airport.

Eglin to get new reserve squadron
The unit to work with drone aircraft
Northwest Florida Daily News 315-4443

Air Force officials have announced that Eglin Air Force Base will be the home of an Air Force Reserve Command MQ-1 Remote Split-Operations squadron. Officials from the Air Combat Command started evaluating bases last year and determined that Eglin was the only one with scores high enough to indicate the squadron would be a good fit. The evaluation considered factors such as mission requirements, communications infrastructure, reserve component recruiting, facilities, support capacity, timing and cost. “The selection of this candidate is the result of a deliberate, measured and transparent process,” Kathleen Ferguson, the deputy assistant secretary for installations, said in a news release from the Air Force. “The Air Force looks forward to working with the communities surrounding this location to ensure all concerns are addressed.” The Air Force Reserve Command, which is based at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, will send a team late this month to evaluate six possible locations at Eglin, said Maj. Christina Hoggatt, spokeswoman for the command. The list includes Hurlburt Field and Duke Field. The command will submit results of the evaluation to the Air Force secretary and Air Force chief of staff. The preferred alternative will be announced sometime this summer. The squadron then will move from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to Eglin. It will have 140 personnel and associated equipment. The local economic impact depends on how it is staffed and whether members will choose to move to the area. Hoggart said reserve units can be manned in several ways. In addition to having reservists who work one weekend a month, others are temporarily assigned to active duty units or work full time. “Reservists can work 40 hours,” she said. The squadron’s equipment will not include any of the remotely-piloted MQ-1 aircraft. The “M” means the aircraft has multiple roles; “Q” means it is unmanned; and “1” means that the aircraft is the first of the series of remotely piloted aircraft systems. The Air Force has 130 of the $20-million-dollar MQ-1 Predators with active forces and another eight assigned to the Air National Guard. Each unmanned aircraft is operated by two airmen: a (remote) pilot and a sensor operator. The new squadron at Eglin will all be sensor operators who run ground control systems. The Air Force Reserve Command currently operates the 78th Reconnaissance Squadron at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Creech also is the home of the first MQ-1 training unit (another will soon operate out of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.) and two active-duty operational s q u a d r o n s . T h e A i r National Guard operates four squadrons.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


With the Florida A&M Pharmacy Schools coming to Crestview, it only makes sense, a Pharmaceutical manufacturer would follow.

Drug maker considering Crestview plant
By Brian Hughes
2011-05-03 09:26:07

It’s not a done deal, but efforts to lure a pharmaceutical manufacturer’s newest plant to Crestview might soon yield results, city and county officials said. If efforts to land the manufacturer are successful, the facility would initially provide about 130 high-paying jobs. Pharmacy South Inc., manufacturer of the respiratory drug Albuterol, has been in discussions with city leaders and county officials for several months. The company is also considering locations in Louisiana and Georgia. On Feb. 25, Mayor David Cadle, city council President Charles Baugh Jr. and Okaloosa County Commissioner Wayne Harris took Pharmacy South officials on a tour of Crestview, including local schools, the North Okaloosa Medical Center and some of the community’s neighborhoods. “We also showed them some land out by Bob Sikes Airport that might be available in the industrial zone for their plant,” Cadle said. The Crestview City Council unanimously approved drafting a letter to Gov. Rick Scott that will accompany a letter from Cadle, both missives encouraging the governor to support the project. Officials are hopeful that Scott’s pro-business record will benefit the local project. “It is a project that takes time,” Cadle said. “There are three communities that have been vying for their attention. We think that all indications are that they really like Crestview.” “Crestview wound up near the top of the pie after the company was courted by other states,” Baugh told the council. “A lot of things have to happen first,” Cadle said. “The resolution that passed the other night, along with a letter from me to ask Gov. Scott for support, will help tremendously.” Area businessmen, including former Destin mayor Craig Barker and his partner, Henry Kelley, have been working to facilitate the move, recognizing the benefits to the entire county should the plant open in Crestview. “Mayor Barker is really excited about the future of Crestview,” Cadle said. In addition to the benefits of locating in the recently expanded Crestview enterprise zone, particularly attractive to Pharmacy South is one of the community’s newest neighbors, the Florida A&M University pharmacy school planned for the downtown Alatex building. Cadle said Dr. Myron Honeywell, acting dean of the school, joined officials during the city tour in February. “The reason Dr. Honeywell was here was because the company and the College of Pharmaceutical Services would form a joint venture in the creation of a research and development center,” Cadle said. “Once introduced, this will act as a catalyst to induce other pharmaceutical companies to cluster here,” Cadle said. “That is why the pharmacy college is so important to us. It has drawing powers for these sorts of companies.” Cadle said the educational component of a FAMU and Pharmacy South partnership could even begin at the high school level, involving the CHOICE professional and technical studies program. “There will be mutual interest between the school system and the company to partner with education curriculums in the schools,” Cadle said. If Pharmacy South decides to open its new 45,000 square-foot plant here, it will be one of the most vigorously inspected construction projects ever built in the area, and one of northwest Florida’s most high-tech factories, Cadle said. Construction could take up to two years to complete. “They have to operate out of an FDA-approved facility,” Cadle said. “That takes a long time to build, because every aspect of the facility has to be approved. Even the concrete has to be inspected by the FDA.” Once the plant is up and running, production is vigorously controlled in a sterile environment. In fact, Cadle said, the first pair of hands to actually touch the Albuterol bottles and capsules will be those of the patient who uses it. “Human hands never touch this product until the consumer opens the box,” he said. The 130 positions that would initially come with the plant could expand to 400 or 500 within a couple years of the plant opening, Cadle said. The first 130 jobs would generate an estimated annual payroll of $6.8 million, with average salaries above $52,000, he said. “That’s 50 percent higher than the average Okaloosa County wage,” Cadle said. “This would expand our local economy away from tourism and the military industrial complex.” Cadle cautioned that Pharmacy South has not yet made a definite decision to open a plant in Crestview, but that city, county and, hopefully, state officials will continue to aggressively court the company. “There are still a lot of hurdles to pass,” Cadle said. “The state has to be involved in this. We want the state to get on board and press for this. We have lost out to border states on previous projects in the past.”

Sunday, May 1, 2011


READ TODAY’S FRONT PAGE NEWS STORY: The time has come for the 7th Special Forces move and it is my opinion, we are behind the eight-ball. We will need to play catch up for quite some time. However, that is a good problem to have here. What does this mean?
1) The Army is reporting for duty during this time period. It does not mean they have found a home yet. Enough quality homes are not available.
2) What choices do they have?
a. Be a geographical bachelor here until a suitable home is available.
b. Chose to live in a rental.
c. Chose to live in a rental until a home is built.
d. Move in with the In-Law’s until a home is ready. Not a good thing. Been there Done it, NO FUN.
e. Don’t move family from Fort Bragg (Not a good choice).
1) It has been noted, close to 20,000 troops are moving to Fort Bragg and need the 7th Special Forces Group folks to move out to make room.
2) The F-35 Training Squadron is setting up, as well.
3) Eglin Base housing has been reduced from over 2700 homes to about 1000 homes. GOVERNMENT wants out of housing and wants private sector to accommodate.
4) Other indirect group associated with Army, F-35, Vision Airlines also putting strain on housing.

As a Former Military Housing Director, I can share some more thoughts. Basically, BUILD baby BUILD.

Up to 200 Army Special Forces soldiers will begin arriving weekly
Northwest Florida Daily News 315-4443
Starting this week, soldiers with the Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) will start rolling in by the hundreds. As many as 200 will arrive each week until all 1,887 of them arrived in Northwest Florida in September. “This is where the bigger moves will begin,” said Maj. Tony Parilli, the human resource manager who is coordinating the move. “This is really when we really start pushing the main body.” In the near future, a fourth battalion will join the compound south of Crestview. That will bring the total to 2,247 troops and 6,000 dependents in the region. The staggered start was planned to avoid overwhelming the support team in charge of the process. The same Fort Bragg office that will issue the orders and authorize each move will process the soldiers as they arrive. “We were very deliberate in the way we planned this to control the flow out as well as to enable the guys on our team at Eglin (Air Force Base) to process everybody effectively and efficiently,” Parilli said. “We float them in manageable numbers. And then, in the midst of all that, we also have to make sure we have accountability: who is in transit; who’s on leave; who’s at Bragg; and obviously, who is signed in and going through the in-processing phase.” A team of about 40 troops moved to the area last summer to start laying the groundwork for the big move. Since January, that team has swelled to about 160 soldiers to help with coordination efforts, said Maj. Jimmy Brownlee, spokesman for the 7th Special Forces. Those 160 have brought about 375 dependents with them.
Settling in:
Staff Sgt. Samuel Taylor and his family were a part of the second wave. They moved to the area Jan. 1 so he could set up the ranges the soldiers will use. “It’s starting to fill up. There’s a steady flow of people coming in now, and I guess there will be for the next several months,” Taylor said. He and his family settled in Shalimar. Taylor said his three children love going to Eglin Elementary and have had no trouble adapting to the new school. “And they love their new friends. They’ve got a lot of friends in the neighborhood they go to school with,” he said. “It’s really nice for my family because we grew up in Orlando, Fla., so it’s good to be back at the beach.” In his 14 years in the Army, Parilli has had 11 station changes. “My son just turned 3 and this is his fifth move,” he said. “Since he was born in December of ’08, we went from Washington, D.C., to Naples, Italy; from Italy to Alabama; from Alabama to Fort Bragg; and now, from Fort Bragg to Florida.” Because Special Forces soldiers who participate in foreign operations usually have language and cultural skills specific to certain areas of the world, they tend to grow roots in their assigned units. When they reach the Emerald Coast, they will be here for the rest of their careers. As part of the support team, Parilli said he “has a shelf life.” He most likely will continue changing stations every couple of years. He and his family plan to get the most out of the area while they can. The Parillis recently moved into their home in Niceville. Parilli said they chose Niceville because it was centrally located to his job, the beaches and major shopping centers. “I think I’m going to enjoy the good weather and I’m going to enjoy being by the water. And for my boys, being 3 and 2, I think it’ll be a great experience for them to be near the ocean and be able to live in that environment,” he said. “That’s the beauty of the military. You get to go everywhere. But being on the Emerald Coast is really going to be a very nice thing for us.” Parilli said the toughest part of coordinating the Special Forces’ move has been managing the flow of people to ensure that the operational mission is not affected, “yet make this as seamless and as painless for the soldiers and the families.” The single soldiers who plan to live in the dormitories at the compound most likely will wait a few months to begin their move. Brownlee said the dorms are not slated for completion until July. “We’re in it now. It’s time to go and I think people are getting excited and looking forward to their new Northwest Florida home,” Parilli said.
Local preparations
The biggest push will be between June and July, as families with schoolage children move in before the new school year begins in August. Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools Alexis Tibbetts said local schools have given several tours to Special Forces families but have yet to see a spike in enrollment. “But now that’s not unusual … There are some families that actually will register the day school starts. We discourage that,” Tibbetts said. “We would like for them to start registering just as soon as they get located.” The school district rezoned neighborhoods in anticipation of the influx of new students. However, the district had to assign next year’s teachers according to current enrollment numbers. “That’s a big problem,” Tibbetts said. “We’ll probably be laying off teachers based on the number of students we currently have. Then as students register over the summer we will hire teachers based on the numbers that increase in specific school areas.” Tibbetts said Antioch and Riverside elementary schools in Crestview are expected to see the largest increase. She encouraged families to take advantage of summer schedules to visit schools and meet principals. The school principals work all summer. The parents who already have taken tours have been pleased, Tibbetts said. “You have to realize that these people are moving to a school district that every school in the district is an A or B — and very few B’s,” she said. “There’s nowhere they can move in Okaloosa County that they’re not going to have a high-performing school for their children to attend.” Crestview Mayor David Cadle said his city has seen a spike in utility tap-ons in the last two months. “We’re excited. We’ve been working a long time preparing for these folks to arrive and hopefully, many of them will be living in the city of Crestview or the surrounding areas, and we welcome them heartily,” Cadle said. He believes the impact will reach far beyond an increase in property tax revenue. He said the population spike will affect every aspect of life.
Because Special Forces soldiers usually are “well-paid military folks,” Cadle said he hopes their presence will improve the city’s chances of attracting new businesses. “It’s always been a strong community for active military and I think it will continue,” he said.