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New housing complex opens on Fort Stewart
1217 MILmarnepoint4FILE
The Marne Point subdivision features a spacious clubhouse. - photo by Frenchi Jones

A new door has opened for Sgt. Brittany Roberson – literally.

Now, she and her fellow soldiers returning home from Iraq have a choice, and possibly, a new place to call home on Fort Stewart.

The Marne Point subdivision, the post’s first upscale apartment complex for single and unaccompanied soldiers, officially opened its doors to the public on Tuesday.

The 3rd Infantry Division’s commanding officer, Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo, and the Army’s undersecretary, Nelson Ford, were present for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

Ford said the complex was needed to provide comfort and convenience for soldiers in garrison, and to set the “conditions for success,” particularly for constantly deploying soldiers.

“We not only need to secure victories on the battlefield, but we also need to secure our soldiers’ ability to rest and recuperate,” he said. “That’s the key reason the Army initiated this project.”

The $32 million project is one of five pilot projects nationwide to offer senior-enlisted soldiers and officers a place to stay, without having the barracks as their only option.

Balfour Beatty Communities began construction on the project in January. So far, 30 units have been completed. The entire project is scheduled to be finished by February 2010.

When the project is complete, it will include 334 apartments and a carwash. Already open and ready for use is a community and recreation center equipped with a clubhouse, a full basketball court, a heated pool, a gaming area, a weight room, a conference room and a business center.

“We are providing these soldiers with high-end, high-quality homes,” said Mark Lavin, Balfour Beatty’s vice president of project management. “This has been long overdue.”

When completed, the complex will have 298 one-bedroom homes and 36 two-bedroom apartments. Each unit features its own private entranceway, kitchen, living room and bathroom.

Niles Bolton was the architect for the project. He said his Atlanta-based company took into consideration the life of an everyday soldier when creating the plans for Marne Point.

“We have found that (soldiers’) needs are slightly different,” Bolton said. “They need more storage space, and an easy, comfortable environment that works well for the jobs they are doing.”

Roberson has lived in Fort Stewart’s National Guard barracks since returning from Iraq less than two weeks ago. She said she didn’t have much of an option when it came to housing.

“I just can’t stand staying in those barracks anymore,” she said. “You don’t have any privacy. All off-post housing is either taken or cost way more than it is worth.”

Marne Point is exactly what she’s been looking for.

“I plan on moving in ASAP,” she said.

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