Location:  San Bernardino, California

Client:  Inland Valley Development Agency

As part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, the Inland Valley Development Agency prepared for the closure of the Norton Air Force Base with a master plan that is a visionary statement of the base’s role in San Bernardino’s future, as well as a practical incremental strategy for implementation and economic viability. Johnson Fain developed a master plan transitioning the base into an International Trade Port, taking advantage of the proximity to rail service, freeways, the on-site airport and the seaport rail connection from the harbors. The plan proposed a fourfold increase to the capacity of the former military airport facility, as the engine of economic growth. The new airport combines passenger and cargo service for optimum economic activity, generating 9,000 jobs on-base and 18,000 jobs regionally. The plan develops an enhanced regional access framework to create value on the site.

The plan proposes a new container facility combined with an air cargo center to facilitate the intermodal transfers of freight for national and international trade. Other uses proposed for the site include a World Trade Center, a higher education campus, and R & D campus, airport-related industrial buildings and commercial office and retail space. The plan arranged for newly-available recreational and cultural facilities to be retained on the site for community benefit. A grid of new streets and landscaping creates an urban design framework, positive identity and accessibility for all development parcels.

The implementation plan provides incremental phasing of infrastructure and private development, a capital program of expenditures coordinated with anticipated revenues, and a marketing strategy for disposing of land and recruiting tenants and developers to the site. Finally, a program was developed for recommended land use changes in the surrounding communities to ensure that the base property is a highly productive, integral part of the community and region.