The Department of Defense announced today the selection of SMPO Properties,
Inc., of Memphis, Tennessee to build the new U.S. Southern Command Headquarters
facility in Miami, Florida at the WestPointe Business Park.
Secretary of Defense, William J. Perry, commenting on the selection, said, "I
am very pleased with this site selection for the new Southern Command
headquarters building in Miami. Placing the headquarters in such a vital
center of regional activity only underscores the importance we attach to Latin
America. Furthermore, this move will enhance the Southern Command's capability
throughout the region," said Dr. Perry.
SMPO Properties, Inc.'s proposal calls for construction of a new 154,848 square
foot building at the end of the cul-de-sac at N.W. 91st Avenue in the
WestPointe Business Park. Once constructed, the facility will be leased to the
government for a base rent price of $1,734,960 per year plus services,
utilities, taxes and insurance. The lease is for a 10-year term.
"This good news means that our new home in Miami is another step closer to
reality," said Rear Adm. James B. Perkins III, Acting Commander-in-Chief of the
Panama based Southern Command (SouthCom) at a press conference today in
"As the gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean and the preeminent location
from which to support regional security cooperation in the Americas, Miami will
position us to engage more effectively with Latin America...," said Perkins.
Five offers for the new headquarters site were made, with four of them calling
for renovating existing buildings. A Source Selection Evaluation Board
composed of officials from Mobile District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and
SouthCom evaluated the offers and selected SMPO Properties, Inc., based on
quality and cost to the government.
The Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 requires the U.S. military to relocate from
Panama by Dec. 31, 1999. The SouthCom Headquarters relocation must occur not
later than the summer of 1998 so that it is in position to direct final
withdrawals from Panama.
In keeping with that requirement, SouthCom began a search for a new
headquarters facility. Over 100 cities and military installations in the
continental United States and Puerto Rico were considered as potential sites
for the headquarters in studies by the Corps of Engineers and the Department of
Defense/Southern Command Selection Committee. On March 29, 1995, following
recommendation by the Secretary of Defense, President Clinton announced Miami
as the new home for the SouthCom headquarters. Criteria for the selection were
based on the ability of SouthCom to effectively perform its mission, quality of
life for its personnel, and lifecycle costs.
Studies on the method of acquisition lead to the Department of Defense decision
in Sept. 1995 to use a competitive lease to house the headquarters. Other
methods considered were new military construction on Federal lands and the
enlargement/renovation of a vacant Coast Guard facility located in the Miami
Once the decision was made to seek a competitive lease, the Mobile District,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began the process in November 1995 which
culminated today with the selection of SMPO Properties, Inc.
The next steps in the process include final negotiations and the signing of the
lease agreement this month. Construction of the new facility is to begin in
April of this year with completion scheduled for March 1997. SouthCom will
begin moving into the facility during the summer of 1997.
For further information, contact Mr. Bill Ormsbee at the U.S. Southern Command
Public Affairs Office, 011-507-282-3206.