HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - Virginia has taken control of 312 acres of the 565-acre site around Fort Monroe in Hampton.
Gov. Bob McDonnell's office said Thursday that he signed paperwork accepting the land this week.
The state had wanted all the land to revert to Virginia, but the Army wants to keep a large portion that includes a marina and other property.
Fort Monroe Authority executive director Glenn Oder says the move is a critical first step in Virginia receiving all of the fort's property back. Negotiations continue on additional land.
In addition to the quitclaim deed, McDonnell also signed agreements outlining operations of utilities, property maintenance, and security while the remaining property ownership issues are negotiated.
Work continues on a master long-term plan for Fort Monroe. The process that has included several public meetings and community input is expected to be completed sometime this summer.
Some land at the site was designated a national monument by President Barack Obama and will be transferred to the National Park Service for that purpose.
Fort Monroe was the third-oldest U.S. Army post in continuous active service until it closed in 2011. Dutch traders first brought enslaved Africans to the fort in 1619. During the Civil War it became a place where escaped slaves could find refuge. Confederate President Jefferson Davis also was imprisoned there after the war.
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