Navy tries private housing for sailors

Sailors and Navy officials agree – there are a number of benefits to privately owned housing.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that sailors have had positive reviews for a complex of privately owned luxury apartments located in San Diego. The Pacific Beacon apartments are a far cry from the cramped quarters usually found in military barracks. Sailors enjoy civilian-style living, high-end furnishings, private balconies and a wealth of fitness centers. They are designed to be lived in long-term, with average rents around $1,100 per person.

However, the complex's landlords, Clark Realty Capital, say the venture has not been without its struggles so far. Because of the high rate of tenant turnover – many have to head out to sea, are re-assigned, or simply leave at the end of their enlistment – the building's occupancy rate of 92 percent is below their target rate. More tellingly, the complex's turnover rate is an eye-popping 90 percent, well above the average of 50 percent.

"We're not in danger of defaulting, we're just not as flush as we'd like to be," Bryan Lamb, Clark’s development executive for the project, told the paper. "It's really a work in progress. We're really pleased with way things have gone."

Landlords around the country have noticed an uptick in activity from military workers. The national Base Realignment and Closure process has brought relocating serviceman to states like Maryland and North Carolina from around the country, and many are finding apartments to rent after moving.