The Architectural Committee for Federal City, a 155-acre redevelopment of the former Naval Support Activity New Orleans is currently seeking qualified applicants to serve as Town Architect. Federal City is a mixed-use development that, when fully developed, will consist of over 1,000,000 square feet of office space, 375,000 square feet of retail, 350,000 square feet of civil/municipal buildings, 150 hotel rooms and 1,400 dwelling units. Federal City broke ground in September of 2008 and the build out of the entire site will take approximately 15 years. The anchor tenant of the Federal City project is a 411,000 square foot, Class-A, force-protected office building within a secure campus that is being built as the new national headquarters of the Marine Corps Reserve. This facility will be LEED Silver certified and set the standard for the development of future federal installations through public-private partnerships. The remainder of the site consists of the mixed-use redevelopment of the former Navy Base utilizing existing historic buildings in addition to new construction projects. The Town Architect shall serve as an advisor to the Architectural Committee and shall administer an architectural review procedure for the development of properties within the redevelopment site to ensure that the designs submitted meet the established Master Plan and Smart Code for Federal City. For more information about the position and to submit an application for the position, please click here to download the Town Hall Architect document.
The construction at Federal City continues to progress with the MarForRes building and new addition of the Federal City Town Center, Retail Center & Parking Garage. The Town Center will include space for a variety of retail tenants and house parking for the secure compound tenants. A design image of the Federal City Retail Center & Parking Garage is below.
The MarForRes building is rapidly taking shape with the majority of the exterior building complete and the focus on the completion of interior work such as cabinet, tile, and carpet installation. Improvements around the exterior include site drainage and a new secure compound visitor center. Work on the entryways and perimeter fencing has begun. Updated construction images are included below.
Federal City offers an approach that could make it a National Model for the future configuration and operation of small to mid-sized DOD installations, the decommissioning of military installations, and large-scale urban development. When fully developed, Federal City is expected to grow from providing nearly 2,000 military jobs (Phase I) to 10,000 Federal and civilian jobs, in later phases. In addition to these numbers, there will be significant job creation and training during the development phase in the renewable-energy, environmental-sciences and green-building trades. Partnerships with local institutions including Tulane University and Delgado Community College ensure that these opportunities will be captured for development via permanent, educational curricula. At the core of this strategy are breakthrough standards in sustainable development that will impact and facilitate regional, green-collar, job development. Federal City will be a world-class development that provides unprecedented regional leadership in setting new standards for accomplishment in these diverse areas of concentration. Also at the heart of the project is a focus on investing in the infrastructure, making provision for a green energy grid and a front-end investment in more efficient buildings.
The State of Louisiana has shown a strong commitment by providing a portion of the capital funding required to construct new facilities at Federal City, and the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 provides tax incentives for developments in the region. The goal of Federal City is to create state-of-the-art facilities that will attract thousands of federal and private sector workers during the next ten years. The construction of new facilities at Federal City will provide its tenants with energy and maintenance efficient facilities and the latest hurricane and flood protection factors and standards. Under this concept, the State of Louisiana has committed to contribute to the capital costs of this installation in return for the economic and social benefits of retaining and expanding the number of workers in the DOD, Federal, and “spin off” civilian organizations that would occupy Federal City.
Following the presidential and congressional initiatives for energy independence and environmentally-friendly installations, the military’s goals for Federal City have become more directed toward green design and sustainable development principles. This multi-phase project is making use of several layers of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, including a minimum Gold rating requirement for new construction, existing buildings and neighborhood development. The Federal City development is being redesigned to set a new record in the region for energy conservation and independence, and possibly for energy production, minimizing pressure on the existing infrastructure, creating new habitat, and fostering the community through bands of green space that will also serve as infrastructure improvements.
Federal City development rethinks the traditional “U.S. military base and urban neighborhood community” by integrating commercial and residential functions back into the urban fabric of the communities they serve. It is anticipated that DOD and civilian federal agencies, as well as the contractors and suppliers who support them, will be housed at Federal City. All tenants will share Federal City’s amenities and gain the advantages of the force protection features that will be provided. Federal City is intended to offer tenants an outstanding quality of life and provide vital economic development and job creation opportunities for the New Orleans community. Federal City will create energizing synergies with additional anticipated private sector development while incorporating the latest in sustainable design, great visual aesthetics, energy efficiency, and design for enhanced hurricane and flood protection. Federal City also provides a means for community recovery and progress in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast.
The installation will provide scaled levels of security inside its boundaries so that both high-level military and lower-level federal or civilian tenant requirements for protection and customer access can be accommodated. With sensitive analysis of needs and stringent and smart “zone based” master planning, Federal City will provide a highly desirable place to live, work and train, enhancing the quality of life for our military personnel and civilian employees. With more than just DOD tenants on the base, Federal City will include support functions on the installation that are normally provided or managed by DOD assets. Support functions include provisions for 1,400 residential units, child care center, food services, athletic and recreational facilities, security, five educational institutions spanning elementary to college level, etc. The concept also envisions establishing an aesthetically attractive, campus type environment on the installation that makes it a very desirable place to work. The location of the base offers spectacular views of the Mississippi River that will be exploited.
The 2005 BRAC law requires that the Marine Corps units now located at NSA New Orleans (East Bank) and the people at the Marine Corps Support Activity, Kansas City, Missouri relocate to Federal City at NSA New Orleans (West Bank). The Department of the Navy will relocate these Marine Corps activities to Federal City by September 15th 2011.
The Marine Forces Reserve (MarForRes) building, currently under construction, is tailor-made for the stakeholder tenant in the secure compound portion of Federal City. The MarForRes facility consists of a 411,000 sq ft requirement that will serve as the new Command Headquarters for MarForRes — supplemented by parade grounds and ancillary buildings. Other Federal tenants are expected to join the Marines within the secure compound; they will be housed in a soon-to-be renovated existing building on site, the Hebert Building, and four new buildings. The MarForRes facility and these ancillary buildings on this campus are slated for LEED certification. Also, currently under construction at the adjacent Coast Guard Site is the Headquarters for Sector New Orleans, a Regional Command, which will house approximately 300 personnel.
The New Orleans Federal Alliance (NOFA) welcomes the realigning Marine Corps units as the “anchor tenants” for the initial phase of Federal City. As suggested by the State and the City of New Orleans to the BRAC Commission, other tenants may include other Federal agencies, and Federal contractors or suppliers. NOFA is currently working in conjunction with its Master Developer, HRI/ECC, to solicit as many of these potential tenants as possible for Federal City.
NOFA will work closely with HRI/ECC to ensure the development scenario and land uses achieve the desired outcome of a sustainable military/federal installation together with other private development that creates jobs and promotes local economic development. To achieve this vision, NOFA’s development partner, HRI/ECC, had the unique opportunity to shape not only the terms of the transaction between NOFA and DON, but the property interest to be conveyed as well as the final scope of the development. The final arrangement included a long-term lease from DON to facilitate the construction of the project.
The acreage at Federal City provides a tremendous development opportunity in a highly-favorable location. The recovery of New Orleans is accelerating and is beginning to achieve beneficial results. In addition to the full support of the State and the City of New Orleans, Federal City enjoys the bipartisan sponsorship and expressed support of the Louisiana congressional delegation. As mentioned, NOFA has been energetically engaged in identifying potential Federal City tenants in addition to the Marine Corps units directed to Federal City by the BRAC law and prospects for additional tenants are very promising. NOFA and HRI/ECC will continue these efforts.