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Air Force transfers last piece of former Lowry AFB back to community

Denver and Air Force Personnel Center leaders watch as a lithograph is presented to Montgomery Force, right, by Stephen TerMaath in Denver on May 31, 2012. The presentation marked the turn-over of the Buckley Annex, the last 70 acres of the former Lowry Air Force Base, to the city of Denver. Force is the Lowry Redevelopment Authority executive director and TerMaath is the Base Realignment and Closure Program Management division chief. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kathrine McDowell)

Denver and Air Force Personnel Center leaders watch as a lithograph is presented to Montgomery Force, right, by Stephen TerMaath in Denver on May 31, 2012. The presentation marked the turn-over of the Buckley Annex, the last 70 acres of the former Lowry Air Force Base, to the city of Denver. Force is the Lowry Redevelopment Authority executive director and TerMaath is the Base Realignment and Closure Program Management division chief. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kathrine McDowell)

Terry Yonkers, the Air Force Installations, Environment and Logistics assistant secretary, speaks at a transfer celebration marking the final turn-over of the last 70 acres of the former Lowry Air Force Base to the city of Denver on May 31, 2012. Marked for closure during the 1991 Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission, the former base is now a sustainable, mixed-use community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kathrine McDowell)

Terry Yonkers, the Air Force Installations, Environment and Logistics assistant secretary, speaks at a transfer celebration marking the final turn-over of the last 70 acres of the former Lowry Air Force Base to the city of Denver on May 31, 2012. Marked for closure during the 1991 Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission, the former base is now a sustainable, mixed-use community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kathrine McDowell)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) --

The final 70 acres of the former Buckley Annex was given back to the Denver community during a final transfer ceremony June 1 here.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the old Lowry Air Force Base was once a thriving hub for the United States Air Force and its members, and is now a vibrant and prosperous residential neighborhood.

Work for the redevelopment process started almost immediately after the closure of the Buckley Annex was announced in 2005, according to Montgomery Force, the executive director of the Lowry Redevelopment Authority.

The transfer of Lowry AFB will result in approximately 800 homes with close proximity to parks, schools, jobs and transportation. It's sought to generate almost 700 retail, construction and office jobs and gain more than $5 million of positive economic growth.

Terry Yonkers, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, said he was very impressed with the progress made since the closure of Lowry AFB more than two decades ago.

He described Lowry as unrecognizable after years of redevelopment and said it has been a tremendous success.

"This is the combination now of almost decades of hard work by a whole lot of folks and the community," Yonkers said. "More importantly this is the whole base transfer. You've taken everything that the Air Force had and transferred it by virtually signing the document today over to the redevelopment authority and the general community."