After serving as the U.S. Army's New England Headquarters for 79 years, Fort Devens was closed in 1996. With the endorsement of the voters in the host towns of Ayer, Harvard, and Shirley, and the approval of the state, the property was conveyed to MassDevelopment, a quasi-public economic development and real estate agency tasked with stimulating economic investment across Massachusetts. MassDevelopment is redeveloping Devens by creating a sustainable and diverse residential and business community. With nearly 2,100 acres of open space and recreation lands, Devens offers unique opportunities for active and passive recreation to area residents. Stimulating economic activity and job creation are key goals. MassDevelopment currently provides municipal services, education, environmental protection, and the infrastructure improvements to convert the former military installation into a planned community. Devens has become a national model for military base reuse. Carefully planned progress continues along with a multitude of first-class amenities that make Devens a popular place to live, work, and play.