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NEWS | Dec. 11, 2023

Tobyhanna Army Depot to Construct New Army Family Housing

By Justin Kucharski, Public Affairs Specialist

As part of Tobyhanna Army Depot’s (TYAD) ongoing modernization efforts, 26 of the 28 homes that make up military housing in the development quaintly known as “Tobyhanna Pines are to be demolished and replaced with 35 new homes to better accommodate the military population in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The homes that comprise Tobyhanna Pines were constructed in 1978. As times changed, so have the needs of the average family and soldier. The homes, while functional, became unable to accommodate some modern amenities due to their age. After the U.S. Army conducted a housing market analysis at TYAD, they concluded that an increase to 37 homes was necessary to accommodate the regional military population. These factors led to the decision to level all but two of the existing homes and build new ones, bringing the grand total of military homes on post to 37. The two homes that will remain standing were built in 2011, so it was deemed unnecessary to remove them.

The name of the military housing development will change from Tobyhanna Pines to Cadence Communities at Tobyhanna. The project is part of the U.S. Army’s Small Installation Privatization Initiative to revitalize military housing across the country which includes the Natick Soldier Systems Center, U.S. Army Garrison-Miami, Rock Island Arsenal, Fort McCoy and Fort Hunter Liggett in addition to TYAD. The Army has reserved $37.6 million for the purposes of reconstructing the housing footprint at the depot.

Colleen Gavin serves as Family Housing and Barracks Manager at TYAD. She said the construction of Cadence Communities at Tobyhanna will be a tremendous help for military families having a permanent change of station to Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“This is a huge milestone for Tobyhanna. This project is part of the commitment made by the Army, the leaders of Tobyhanna and the housing partners to improve the quality of life for our military families here in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Gavin. “We are excited to announce these projects and we will continue to take an active role knowing how our soldiers live while retaining quality oversight and providing support to soldiers, families and units.”

TYAD’s Director of Installation Services William Ramey agreed, adding that the project will serve as a great way to embrace military families and welcome them back into the community.

“Our Army family housing project will be of great benefit for soldiers and their families stationed at Tobyhanna who work in and around our region. New homes on our installation will provide access to fitness facilities, a child development center, multiple military family programs, and a commissary all while living in the attractive Pocono Mountain region,” said Ramey. “We are happy to see this project moving forward in this fiscal year and are excited to welcome our military families back to TYAD.”

The Army has named multinational construction and real estate company Lendlease as the partner for Cadence Communities. The company, who has worked with the privatization of military housing in the country since 2009 and is one of the highest rated partners in the military structure, signed a 50-year lease with the Army to maintain these properties. 90 percent of the revenue generated from the new homes will go into a reinvestment account to be utilized when an event such as home repairs or the addition of more homes occur. The decision to privatize falls in line with that of most military housing in the continental U.S.

Gavin added that the new homes will not only benefit military families, but programs at TYAD as well.

“Housing on the garrison should be a soldier’s first option. Not just for housing purposes, but for other on-post programs like daycare, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the Post Exchange, the Commissary and more. The on-post population helps build and sustain those programs,” said Gavin, noting that the growth of these programs benefits all who use them. “The programs and amenities on this garrison are important to a soldier’s quality of life and it really is what defines what Army or military life looks like for them. It also benefits readiness and retention. Soldiers may choose to stay because they have all the resources here. That is so important to the lifecycle of a soldier and family.”

Having served in the military, Ramey agreed with Gavin’s sentiment that peace of mind for a soldier is extremely valuable.

“As a former soldier myself, I understand first-hand the importance of knowing your family is safe, secure, and has access to the best services possible,” said Ramey. “Living on military installations was a positive experience for my family due to the convenience and community building it afforded us.”

The plan is to build 16 four-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom homes along with a single four-bedroom home that is complaint with the Americans with Disabilities Act. As homes are constructed, military families will be able to move in. Department of Defense civilians and retirees will be eligible to move into the homes as long as 95% of the occupancy is made up of active-duty military.

TYAD’s Chief of Public Works James Wisnewski said that not only is this a great opportunity to modernize, but to continue building a military community in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“With the boom in the housing market, particularly in this area of the Pocono Mountains, this project will provide modern, affordable housing to our service members,” said Wisnewski. “Working in coordination with our private housing partner, this project will provide not only homes, but a military community on Tobyhanna.”

Tobyhanna Pines is tentatively scheduled to be demolished in February 2024 and the Cadence Communities project in its entirety is slated to be complete in July of 2025.

In addition to the family housing effort, Gavin added that a future plan is in place to completely renovate TYAD’s existing barracks. Built in 1953, the barracks are used to house units training on-post.

Fostering quality and accessible housing for our military community is a TOBY2035 Invest in Our People and C5ISR Readiness initiative. Tobyhanna Army Depot’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2035 strives to position Tobyhanna for success in the coming years as the Department of Defense's premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.

TYAD is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C5ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna’s unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, postproduction software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.

About 3,200 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command’s mission is to empower the Soldier with winning C5ISR capabilities.