Your Name (if you would like it to appear): Laura
Base Name: Fort Lee, Virginia
Base Location: Prince George County, Virginia
How long have you been here? (give years please, ex. 2003-present) 2009-present
What is housing like? On-post? (waiting list, conditions, etc.) Off-post? Any areas to stay away from? Average price to rent or buy?
When we came here, our wait time for on-post housing was approx 2 years. We rented a place off-post in Chester which was $979/month. The good thing about this place (Chester Village Greene) is that it has a partnership with Fort Lee in that you can break your lease when on-post housing becomes available. I’d stick to Chester and Colonial Heights because Petersburg is beyond sketchy.
We were able to move on-post early because we agreed to move into housing that was soon to be demolished (built in the 1970s, run-down, etc) with the understanding that we would be given a newer house on-post before the demolition date. While the 1970s house was certainly old, it was sturdy and served us well. We just moved into the new housing. It’s clear that it was built hastily and as cheaply as possible. The doors and windows are not properly sealed so that freezing cold air is rushing in, there are roaches in the kitchen, the faucets leak, the tubs don’t drain, and it’s obvious which parts of the house were recycled from the houses that were torn down (toilets that don’t match and rattle when you sit on them….it’s great, as well as very worn bathtubs). We didn’t have ANY of these problems in the house that’s being torn down. We’re extremely annoyed and upset about the conditions of the new housing, especially since all Pinnacle (the private housing company which has taken over) has done is brag about how amazing the housing is. We’re calling in work orders for these issues–I’m just annoyed that we have to do it at all. The housing is only 2 years old!
Rate the PX & Commissary.
The PX and Commissary are pathetic. Very small selection, grungy looking, always crowded because of AIT soldiers. The prices at the PX are no cheaper than Walmart, so I suggest you just go there. The commissary IS cheap, but it’s just not great.
Activities on base?
Nothing is EVER going on. There is a bowling alley, but it’s always full of drunken AIT soldiers. There’s a movie theater, but it’s been under renovation since we arrived.
Active Spouses Club?
none that I know of. If there are any, they’re certainly not active.
Things to do in area?
Fort Lee is surrounded by strip malls and plastic restaurants. If you want any kind of culture or good food, you have to drive the half hour to Richmond.
Not sure–I don’t have kids. But I’ve heard it’s bad.
Any colleges in area?
University of Virginia.
Jobs? (on post and off)
Off-post consists of food service and retail.
Favorite aspect of this base/surrounding city?
None, I seriously hate it here.
Least favorite aspect?
Where do I begin. All I hear when my husband gets home is him talking about how the leaders in his unit care only about appearances and that there’s no job to do but everyone is forced to make it look like they’re busy rather than training or maintaining as one should in Garrison. The units on this post are a mix of so many different commands that no one seems to know what they really should be doing. The presence of TRADOC clearly influences the permanent party on the post. The politics and drama that goes on here is beyond ridiculous, and so many people coming from other posts are stunned by how poorly things are run. To quote one, “Don’t judge the Army based on your experience at Fort Lee…”
Local websites? (base, chamber, newspaper, schools, etc.)
Any other tips?
Don’t come here. If you do, leave as soon as you can.