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Unique Fort Bliss shopping center breaks ground


Denver The Army & Air Force Exchange Service announced Friday that it has teamed with Service Star Development Co. and broken ground on the first-ever shopping center to be located on a U.S. military base.

Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, Texas, will feature a multiplex movie theater, specialty retail and full-service restaurants in an open-air marketplace setting.

The $100 million project will be anchored by an expanded Post Exchange and Commissary grocery store; total GLA is 455,875 sq. ft.

"With the creation of Freedom Crossing, Fort Bliss will be home to the first-ever open-air shopping center to be located on military Post," stated Major General Howard B. Bromberg. "More than a place to shop, Freedom Crossing will serve as the social gathering place for the greater Fort Bliss Community."

Fort Bliss is undergoing significant expansion under the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005, including $4.8 billion in fully funded construction that is already under way.

By 2012, the Fort Bliss community is expected to grow by more than 60% and reach a population of 127,000 including Army personnel, military families, National Guard, reserves and retirees.

Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss is designed to achieve a Silver rating from the United States Green Building Council and its LEED-certification program. Environmentally friendly building plans include use of recycled materials, day-lighting principles, xeriscape and low-water usage.

Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss will serve as the model for proposed retail developments at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Wash., and Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

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