New Orleans, LA- Currently the Westbank component of the Naval Support Activity encompasses 200 acres of land between the Mississippi River and General Meyer Drive in Algiers. This facility has operated for over one hundred years. In its early years, from 1903 to the 1920’s, it existed to serve as a Navy yard to repair sea vessels. In 1939, it became a base to handle transient naval personnel and in 1944 it was designated as the US Naval Repair Base. In 1944 it became known as the US Naval Station and held this name until in 1962 it became the Headquarters, Support Activity because the Eighth Naval District was stationed there. The heyday of the base was during World War II when it was used as a port for shipping supplies to the troops overseas. The population has varied over the years.
The Naval Support Activity has been an anomaly to those outside the base, basically blocking any visual or physical connection to the river for the homes on the other side of General Meyer Drive. For on-base personnel, it has been a typical military base, providing secure facilities, a gym, a navy lodge for visitors to the base and a PX and Commissary (the military version of a department store and a grocery store respectively). Currently there are 200 vinyl sided townhomes on base for enlisted personnel as well as several historic buildings and housing for officers. Somewhat out of character for a military base, the officers’ housing includes a home known as Quarters A. Quarters A is an 1841 Antebellum Creole style plantation home, which now houses the senior commander in the area. It was placed on the National Historic Register in 1993 and is the oldest known surviving residence on the West Bank of New Orleans.
Federal City is conceived
The vision for Federal City is that it is to be a model for small military bases around the country. The intent is not to follow the traditional base organization plans but to minimize the costs and direct services provided by the military while integrating the facility more successfully into the surrounding neighborhoods.
Confronted by an imminent base closure in 2005 due to budget cuts, the State and community developed this public/ private partnership model to provide a new type of military base. Ultimately, in fifteen years, when all three phases are complete, Federal City is expected to provide 10,000 civil and military jobs, create a commercial center for Algiers, re-connect the surrounding neighborhoods to the river with through streets, provide a charter school that will serve the military families as well as students from the New Orleans area and provide an additional 1400 residences for military personnel and the general public.
Public /Private Ventures (PPV)
The Department of the Navy and the Naval Support Activity are familiar with the concept of the public/private partnership in Louisiana. The Naval Air Station in Belle Chase, Louisiana, as well as many other bases throughout the country began using this PPV model in the late 1990’s on military family housing projects to improve the quality of life on their bases. At the Naval Air Station, the Department of the Navy set up a PPV with Patrician Development out of Baton Rouge. Duany Plater Zyberk provided the master plan, and Broadmoor Design Group provided the housing designs. This PPV now owns and manages over 700 homes on the Naval Air Station base in Belle Chase. The land is ground leased to them through a fifty year lease and the military provides Patrician with a stream of tenants. It is a low risk development opportunity for the private developer because the tenants are military assigned to the region and it gets the military out of the housing management business. This has been a successful model throughout the country as the Department of the Navy works to provide more and better housing for their personnel and streamline their responsibilities. Patrician also manages and maintains the 200 existing residences at the Naval Support Activity in Algiers as part of this earlier PPV.
Federal City will be the first of its kind
Upon the threat of the base closure, Governor Blanco and Mayor Ray Nagin approached retired Marine Corps Major General David M. Mize to help them come up with an innovative solution to keep the base in New Orleans. General Mize as President and CEO of the New Orleans Federal Alliance, a 501 © 3 organization chartered to oversee the creation, development, and operation of Federal City, has become the point man for the project.
Federal City will be the first of its kind. Once completed, it will encompass over 200 acres and partner with additional properties surrounding the Naval Support Activity like Delgado Community College’s Westbank campus and the O. Perry Walker and Harriet Tubman Charter Schools that are along General Meyer Drive. Of the 200 acres of land that are currently managed by the Department of the Navy (DON), only 29 acres will be secure and remain under the direct control of the Department of the Navy, reducing their overall management responsibility dramatically. The remaining land will be reincorporated into the surrounding street grid and will provide a town center environment complete with office buildings, public parking, a fitness center run by the YMCA, a military maritime themed charter high school, a grocery store, restaurants, and 1400 new homes. Again Duany Plater Zyberk prepared the master plan.
The partnership envisions this as a new town center for Algiers. The overall fifteen year development is projected to include $750 million to $1 billion of development.
A Bigger Public/Private Venture
The partnership for the Federal City project includes the Master Developer, which is a joint venture between Historic Restorations Incorporated and Environmental Chemical Corporation; the Algiers Development District (ADD), which is the conduit for the tax increment financing for the project and the direct lessee of the land; the Department of the Navy, which is leasing the land to the Algiers Development District and will be the ultimate tenant of the Marine Forces Reserve Building; and the State of Louisiana, which provided $150 million toward the project. The New Orleans Federal Alliance (NOFA) subleases the base land from ADD and further subleases the land with certain restrictions to the Master Developer. NOFA, through General Mize, coordinates the daily development and operation of the entire Federal City project, working to ensure the partnership vision for the project is achieved.
Phase I – secure the perimeter and lay the streets
Due to the BRAC law, the secured area of the site, complete with a 411,000 sq ft headquarters building for the national headquarters of the Marine Corps Reserve, must be constructed by June of 2011. Construction of the headquarters will keep approximately 1900 military jobs in the New Orleans area and facilitate future job growth. Contiguous to the Federal City secure compound, the Coast Guard is building a new headquarters for its Sector New Orleans command. This is an approximately 45,000 sq ft building which will house about 300 Coast Guardsmen in their own secure area. This Federal City secure area will be the only area that remains under the direct control of the Department of the Navy and where access is restricted to federal badge holders. The area is designed to meet the federal blast standards as well as all hurricane protection criteria and emergency readiness standards. The Federal City project hopes to draw additional agencies that need high security protection to locate within the secure perimeter as well.
When BRAC (the Base Closure and Realignment Commission) listed the Naval Support Activity for realignment, as part of a BRAC action, by law the new facilities for the military had to be occupied by September 15th, 2011. That means construction of this primary facility must be complete by June of 2011. Carl E Woodward designed the building using tilt-up construction to meet the 2011 deadline. The Marine Forces Reserves Building is under construction now and will be LEED certified.
This first phase will also include a fitness center, a childcare development center, a type 2 charter high school renovation with a military maritime focus (in addition both Harriett Tubman Elementary Charter and O. Perry Walker Charter High School are adjacent to the property), a hotel, a grocery store, a 400 seat auditorium and a library. Some of these components exist in some capacity already on the Naval Support Activity site, but will be converted to privately managed facilities. For example, currently the military runs the fitness center. Once the turnover is complete, the YMCA will use the facility as their regional headquarters and manage the fitness center, increasing the size of the facility from 23,000 sq ft to 40,000 sq ft. The military will pay a fee to send their personnel there and in addition the YMCA will offer memberships to the general public. This is another area where the public/private partnership will save the military from having to build, maintain, and manage their own facilities. It also is an attractive partnership from the private sector by offering the guaranteed base population.
This first part of phase one is expected to cost about $136 million. $100 million-plus is coming from the State contribution of $150 million for the overall Federal City project and the Marines, for whom the MarForRes building is being built, are investing $36 million into their building. The remainder of the State funds will go into the rest of Phase I.
A second component of Phase I, which is not contingent on the June 2011 deadline, includes the construction of streets per the master plan which will be turned over to the City and returned to the street grid once complete. This work will reconnect the surrounding neighborhoods with the river. This component is planned to be complete within the first five years of the overall master plan, but is reliant on attracting commercial operations to the town center. Retailers that are targeted for the area include a bank or credit union, restaurants, a drug store, a coffee shop, and a dry cleaning facility. In addition, construction will commence on residential units in the Federal City mixed use development. These can be both for sale and rental units depending on the developer and financing needs at the time.
The public/private partnership model depends on attracting private investors and retail tenants. They are expected to find the opportunity appealing because of the dedicated population of military personnel and federal and commercial office workers in place that will help guarantee market demand. The development team plans to work with the many partners as they complete the financing for this phase and finalize plans to leverage the remaining state funding.
After the first phase the project becomes less defined and dependent on the momentum of the overall commercial development.
The second phase of the overall master plan is expected to commence after the five year mark. It is envisioned to include the build out of the remaining parking needs for the retail and commercial area. It phase will include the completion of a new elementary charter school. It will also support the development of the Westbank Delgado campus. Delgado intends to expand its Westbank Campus and develop a green construction curriculum tied to the massive construction at the Federal City project.
The third phase of the project shall be to implement any remaining components of the Master Plan as of yet unrealized. The goal is to complete the entire plan by September 15, 2023.
All eyes on Federal City
Right now, Federal City is the only major catalytic economic development project on the Westbank. In addition to several branches of the military at the national level, there are a number of surrounding developers who are watching this project closely to gauge success. Both Blaine Kern’s Algiers Crossing and the redevelopment of the Lakewood Country Club by the Firemans’ Retirement Fund are waiting to see if the Federal City project will successfully bring economic recovery to the Algiers area.
Thus far, General Mize says that the Federal City project has the support of the surrounding community. Early meetings with the surrounding neighborhoods have been successful since the overall goal is to bring services to neighborhoods which have had very little in the past. The State is committed to Federal City as a significant economic development opportunity and the military sees this as a way to create livable environments across the country by leveraging their facilities to make the management of military bases more affordable and more attractive. If all goes well, the new Federal City will be the first of many public/ private ventures for the military, will change the face of Westbank New Orleans and will be one of the largest neighborhood redevelopment projects in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area.
- excerpt from New Orleans Real Estate Examiner
The $1 billion Federal City complex is taking shape.
And there's no alternative: The federal government requires that Marines occupy the 29-acre compound in Algiers by September 15, 2011. That means construction must be completed by June 2011. To meet that deadline, builders are constructing the anchor Marine Forces Reserve building, or MarForRes, using a century-old method called "tilt-up."
Tilt-up is conceptually simple and technically complicated. It involves casting and erecting concrete walls on site, as opposed to shipping them in from an outside factory.
"It's the most economical method of delivery," said Ed Sauter, executive director of the Iowa-based Tilt-Up Concrete Association. "You don't have the overhead factory. You don't have transportation cost."
Tilt-up has shaved about three months of construction and up to 10 percent of costs for the 411,000-square-foot MarForRes, according to estimates by David Mize, president and CEO of the New Orleans Federal Alliance. But builders across the country have been slow to embrace the technique, which was first used in the early 1900s, according to the association.
Casting concrete is precision science, and erring by a few inches "is not an easy thing to fix," Sauter said. That's an imposing risk for the construction industry, which Sauter said is one of the "slowest to adopt new ideas."
"If you have problems you haven't foreseen, who will pay for your learning experience?" Sauter said.
But Federal City, along with similar projects, is helping to advance tilt-up. Woodward Design Build is forming 196 panels on a concrete casting bed for the outer shell of MarForRes. A crane is erecting the panels, which weigh more than 130,000 pounds and are as tall as 72 feet. MarForRes' walls are now about 75 percent complete.
"The conventional method of building, you'd come in and build the structural skeleton first," said Woodward Vice President Steve Lawson. "Then you'd have a brick and block crew on the outside, scaffold the building, and build it up, brick by brick and block by block."
About 700 million square feet of tilt-up wall now exists in the United States, roughly double the amount in 1997, when the association began tracking, Sauter said. And the method is creating a new industry, with firms specializing in products for lifting, bracing and chemical treatment. Six such firms existed when the association was founded in 1986, Sauter said. More than 50 are in business today.
Woodward is also embedding half-inch-thick bricks in the walls of MarForRes, giving the appearance of exposed brick in certain sections of the panels. It's an aesthetic touch that is part the evolution of tilt-up, Lawson said.
"I've done a lot of tilt-up, but nothing this fancy," he said.
Federal City may be among the fanciest of tilt-up projects, but it's not the tallest. The association's Web site features projects with walls approaching 100 feet, and that threshold seems well within reach.
Tilt-up is not the only time-oriented innovation Woodward is using to meet its deadline for Federal City. The firm is building MarForRes walls at the same time it designs the inside, which Mize said is saving another two months.
"You've got to figure out how to mesh it together. It's a little bit of a challenge, and it's a little bit of a risk," Mize said. "But it saves you all kinds of time if you can do it.".
-expert from CityBusiness Online
New Orleans, LA- Today the Federal City Team gave a progress report on the construction at the Federal City site in New Orleans and unveiled the largest tilt-up building in the gulf coast region.
“We are right on target with our construction timeline and our financial budget for the Federal City site,” said Algiers Development District (ADD) Chairman Jeff Arnold. “It has been a little over one year since we had the ground breaking ceremony. Our target is to complete the Headquarters of the Marine Forces Reserve by September 2011, which is part of the 75-year lease agreement between the Algiers Development District and the Department of the Navy signed last year.”
Retired General David Mize, who heads the New Orleans Federal Alliance (NOFA), the organization charged with overseeing the day to day operations of the project, told the crowd, “the MarForRes project is the largest project ever completed using tilt-up construction for military end use as well as the largest tilt-up building in the Gulf Coast region. This construction technique allows for faster, less expensive construction and delivers a building that is particularly well suited to handle hurricane force winds.”
Confirmed honorable speakers included: [Congressmen Anh “Joseph” Cao, Mayor C. Ray Nagin], Louisiana Economic Development Deputy Secretary Steven Grissom ,ADD Chairman Jeff Arnold, Council-at-large member Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, Councilman James Carter and Bob Braithwaite, Deputy Commander of Marine Forces Reserve.
ADD, NOFA, and HRI/ECC, (who is the master developer) continue to discuss their future plans with local and federal tenants, merchants, education, and recreation representatives. The goals for Federal City include:
The $150 million investment by the state for Federal City includes approximately $110 million for the Marine Forces Reserve building and secure compound, $7 million for amenity upgrades on the site, and the remainder for other infrastructure improvements and other aspects of the project. Many of these improvements and upgrades are expected to be substantially complete by June of 2011. The current Naval Support Activity New Orleans will close by 15 Sep 2011 and turn control of the base property over to the Federal City team through an already agreed upon lease arrangement.
NEW ORLEANS – The military presence in New Orleans will soon be bigger than ever before, as progress continues on the new "Federal City," a massive Marine base under construction on the Westbank. It will be nearly two years before the first tenants move in, but local and state leaders offered a progress report on the development Friday.
"We are happy to report we are on schedule and on budget for this very important economic development project," said David Mize, who is spearheading the project. Walls are going up quickly due to a building technique called "tilt-up construction." The first step looks a lot like an old-fashioned movie set, with just the walls going up and being lodged in place with large steel rods.
"This is a wonderful day here in the city of New Orleans, for us to be celebrating this type of progress, for something is on budget, on time, on schedule and all those good things," Mayor Ray Nagin said.
The next step is locking the third floor and ceiling into place before finally completing the first and second floors. The building, which will eventually house the national headquarters of the Marine Corps Reserve, will be the largest built this way in the Gulf South, outside of Florida.
"The first commitment on saving the military here was the city of New Orleans and was matched by the state," said City Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson. The facility has $7 million of city money and $156 million of state money in it, and it is worth $750 million, Clarkson said. The deal will help keep an estimated $4.5 billion of military money in New Orleans.
By the time Phase 1 is complete, the base will employ 10,000 people and will encompass an area about the same size as Algiers Point.
- excerpt from WDSU.com All rights reserved.
Developers of the Federal City complex in Algiers will be hosting a press conference Friday, December 4th to provide an update on the site's progress.
A joint venture of the New Orleans Federal Alliance and HRI/ECC LLC, the Federal City site has been praised for both its potential economic and social impact. The complex will be occupied by the Department of Defense and civilian federal agencies, as well as the contractors and suppliers who support them. When fully developed, the site is expected to contribute nearly 2,000 military jobs and up to 10,000 Federal and civilian jobs to the Greater New Orleans region, according to project officials.
Additionally, the site's construction will provide significant job creation and training opportunities in the renewable energy, environmental science, and green building fields. Through capital funding from the state of Louisiana and use of Gulf Opportunity Zone tax incentives, developers are making provisions for a green energy grid and committing front-end investment for the use of energy efficient buildings at the Federal City complex.
Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc., the economic development agency serving the 10-parish region, sees the Federal City project as a "bold economic development initiative that promises not only jobs for Greater New Orleans, but also new precedence in public/private partnerships and sustainable development."
Friday's event will be hosted by the Algiers Development District, the City of New Orleans, HRI/ECC, Louisiana Economic Development, New Orleans Federal Alliance, and Woodward Design & Build. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am and will be held at Federal City's construction site for the Marine Forces Reserve building, where ground broke in September 2008.
- excerpt from BayouBuzz
About 14 months after the Navy and local officials signed a lease to convert the Naval Support Activity in Algiers into a military and government campus, officials will gather at the site today to herald progress on construction of the Marine Forces Reserve’s new headquarters. Their message: New Orleans’ largest economic development project, called federal city, is on budget and ahead of schedule. Under federal law, the Marines must occupy the 411,000-square-foot facility by Sept. 15, 2011.
The $110 million building overlooking Opelousas Avenue and Hendee Street is taking shape, with most of the exterior walls already standing four stories high thanks to the tilt-wall method of construction that sheds light on what the facility will look like when complete, officials said.
“Suddenly, with the tilt-wall construction technique, in the space of less than two weeks you suddenly see rising out of this (construction) site this massive building,” said retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Mize, who is spearheading the project.
In 2005, the Defense Department announced it wanted to close the Navy base, but a federal panel, after hearing pleas from state and local officials to retain the installation, agreed to leave the Algiers base open for federal city.As part of that decision, the panel kept Marine Forces Reserve in Orleans Parish instead of moving it to the Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse, in facilities the federal government would have built.
The state pledged $150 million to the project, provided through the Department of Economic Development’s “mega fund.” The Algiers Development District board in September 2008 signed a 75-year lease with the Navy, allowing construction on the Marine Corps headquarters to begin.
The tilt-wall construction method dates to the 1950s, but its use in Algiers marks the largest in the state. The method was selected because of the speed at which the headquarters could be built, said Bob Lipscomb, senior project manager for Woodward Design+Build, the contractor for the Marine Corps facility. "Time is money,” Lipscomb said. “I think it cut a good three months out of it.” The 186 panels are fabricated on site, their brick veneers and decorative details already embossed in the face to give the exterior façade its finished appearance.
The panels are hoisted into position by a crane, attached to each other with welding plates and are held erect by support beams that will be removed once the roof and fourth floor deck are installed, Lipscomb said. The method essentially means the building is constructed from the outside in.
The walls, expected to be erected by Christmas, will contain about 11 million pounds of concrete, containing more than 1 million pounds of reinforcing steel bar, officials said.
“It’s an impressive sight,’’ said state Rep. Jeff Arnold, D-Algiers, who is chairman of the Algiers Development District board that has provided seed money for federal city. “The project is moving forward, on schedule, possibly ahead of schedule, time-wise and budget-wise.’’
Mize said Woodward Design+Build, working with architects Mathes Brierre, said the contractor also worked with the Marine Corps to incorporate its needs into the facility. “Our goal here is to give them the best headquarters building in the Marine Corps,’’ Mize said. Marine Forces Reserves currently occupies less square footage at the Naval Support Activity’s east bank campus in quarters built during World War I as an army depot. That portion of the base will close when the Marines move to Algiers.
- excerpt from Times-Picayune article by Paul Purpura
Lt. Gen. John Bergman leaves the Marine Corps a year later than he expected. His retirement package was approved last year, and he was set to be replaced as commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North by Maj. Gen. Douglas Stone in a Sept. 8, 2008, ceremony at the Naval Support Activity in Algiers.
But Hurricane Gustav canceled the ceremony, and a new date was not set. The Marine Corps commandant, Gen. James Conway, asked Bergman to remain at the helm of the largest command in the Marine Corps, responsible for drilling 39,600 reservists nationwide.
Closing out a 40-year career as a military aviator -- eight of them in New Orleans -- Bergman on Saturday handed command of Marine Forces Reserve to Lt. Gen. John Kelly, a father of two Marines who has served three tours in Iraq, including a stint overseeing coalition forces in Anbar province that ended in early 2008.
Ascending the ranks
He became Marine Forces Reserve commander June 10, 2005, the month after the Defense Department announced it would close the Naval Support Activity, leading local officials to push to retain the base for the Federal City campus. Marine Forces Reserve will be the anchor tenant in a headquarters complex that's under construction.
New Orleans City Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson lauded Bergman for his work in the region after Hurricane Katrina and for assisting in making the Federal City project happen. "He helped us secure keeping our Marines in this city so there would be a Federal City,” Clarkson said. "This city will always treasure his leadership." Bergman also has been an "effective proponent" of maintaining Quarters A at the Naval Support Activity in Algiers as the residence for the Marine Forces Reserve commanding generals, said retired Maj. Gen. David Mize, who commanded the Marine Reserve force in New Orleans from 1998 to 2001 and lived in the house.
Built in the 1840s and also known as the LeBeuf-Ott Country House, Quarters A has been used as the residence for senior military officers stationed in the city since 1943. The military planned to build a new residence for the commanding general at the Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse, but efforts are afoot to continue using Quarters A for that purpose as part of the Federal City project, which Mize is spearheading.
"The Bergmans have represented the military in general and the Marine Corps in particular extremely well to the New Orleans region," Mize said.
- excerpt from Times-Picayune article by Paul Purpura
The transformation of the Naval Support Activity in Algiers into a federal campus for military, government and private agencies is solidly under way with the footprint for the national headquarters for Marine Forces Reserve, the project's anchor tenant, taking shape.
A year ago, local leaders and Navy officials signed the final documents setting the stage for the active construction site, where concrete slabs are being poured over 2,600 pilings. By December, project officials expect the exterior walls to be four stories tall overlooking Opelousas and Hendee streets. Contractor Woodward Design+Build of New Orleans expects the 417,000-square-foot headquarters compound to be occupied by Sept. 15, 2011, the federally mandated deadline for the command's 1,900 Marines and civilian personnel to move in.
"We're on track, feeling excited about the prospects and delivering what we said we're going to deliver," said retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Mize, who is spearheading the Federal City development. When construction is complete in June 2011, Marines will move out of the aging offices at Naval Support Activity's east bank campus, where they work in facilities built in 1918 as an Army supply depot.
"The project is starting to visibly take shape, which has increased the level of anticipation and generating plenty of discussion in our current offices," Davis said. "The designs are pretty much set, and this building will provide significant improvements in our ability to operate as the headquarters for the Marine Forces Reserve."
Architects and engineers suggested "tilt-wall construction," Mize said, in which 10-inch-thick reinforced concrete panels, with brick veneer and holes for windows, are fabricated on site. The 72 panels, each 10 feet wide and most 65 feet tall, will be lifted by crane and secured to the slabs and to each other "You'll have no idea it wasn't a stone kind of building," Mize said.
Meanwhile, construction on the $21.5 million, 53,000-square-foot Coast Guard Sector New Orleans headquarters, adjacent to the Federal City site, is about one-third complete, said Lt. Cmdr. John Barresi, the Coast Guard's director of Gulf Coast reconstruction. The facility, where about 300 Coast Guard personnel will work, is expected to be finished by May 2010, he said. The concrete skeleton already rises three stories, Barresi said, and construction on interior spaces began last week.
While the Coast Guard building at the foot of Hendee Street is not part of Federal City, Mize said discussions are under way for the agency and the Marine Corps to share security responsibilities, meaning the facilities would not be separated by a fence.
Construction is under way on about 14 acres of the total 149 acres that developers HRI/EEC LLC of New Orleans will get on Sept. 15, 2011, when the Navy turns over the remaining acreage to group. At that time, the fence bordering Naval Support Activity will be removed, allowing public access to all of the installation except for the Marine Corps compound, Mize said. Only then can redevelopment of the base begin, he said.
Following a master plan currently being devised, the redevelopment is expected over 15 years, he said. Developers are exploring restaurants, a grocery, a charter high school with a maritime focus and space for Delgado Community College to expand its West Bank campus, Mize said.
"We're confident we won't be a ghost town when it opens up in September 2011," Mize said.
- excerpt from Times-Picayune article by Paul Purpura
A raised French Creole cottage is one of a few surviving examples of an antebellum plantation house in the New Orleans area, according to historical accounts of the LeBeuf-Ott Country Retreat, which the Navy calls Quarters A. Built in the 1840s on land used to grow sugar cane, the raised French Creole cottage has served that purpose since 1943.
But what happens to it and a host of other buildings dating back more than a century when developers for the Federal City campus take over the base is unclear. Although a preliminary proposal suggests widespread demolition, developers say they're keeping older buildings. Still, urban planners Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. in Miami aren't expected to release a master plan for four more months for the site envisioned to eventually bring 10,000 jobs through government and military agencies to Algiers.
"I am very comfortable in stating that we are trying to keep and reuse, or 'repurpose,' virtually all of the older buildings on the base," said retired Marine Corps Gen. David Mize of the New Orleans Federal Alliance in an e-mail message. "The retention of these buildings has many benefits. The buildings have good and interesting architecture, and they are the architectural foundation around which we are developing and blending in the new buildings at Federal City. This will enable (us) to retain a sense of character and connection to the base's use since 1901," he said.
- excerpt from Times-Picayune article by Paul Purpura
Donna J. Gambrell, Director of the U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, traveled to New Orleans last week for a series of visits to community redevelopment projects that exemplify best practices in the use of New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing.
Her visit included a tour of the Second Line Stages (SLS) film studio project, which was recently honored as the Best Tax Credit Financed Project in the Nation by the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA). Other stops included Ochsner Baptist Medical Center and the site of the planned Federal City office park.
The Federal City project in New Orleans' Algiers District is a public-private venture to transform a military naval support facility into a first-of-its-kind federal office park. It comprises more than 165 acres along the West Bank of the Mississippi River, and is expected to serve as a model for converting future Department of Defense installations nationwide.
- excerpt from MarketWire article by Erik Deutsh
The May 12 Federal City presentation, the last of three meetings aimed at incorporating community input, showed the promise of the project and of the master planning process being used to create the plan.
Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Mize described the objectives of Federal City as, "to create a new model for private/military partnerships, to make sure we give a good return on the state's $150 million investment, an economic development effort by far the largest in Louisiana and to be the engine that drives the growth and renewal of the West Bank."
Led by world-renowned urban planner Andres Duany of Duany Plater-Zyberk, the series of meetings provided opportunities for residents to express their concerns and provide input into what would become the master plan for Federal City. Duany explained that DPZ "designs walkable, compact, diverse neighborhoods." He showed how office, residential, retail and parking structures were placed strategically to maximize quality of life and retail commercial success.
The best news for Algiers, Duany said, is that Federal City "represents the permanent infusion of 10,000 jobs," as opposed to the benefits driven by the existing Naval Support Activity, which "only bulks up in times of war." Those jobs, he said, would translate into greater stability for Algiers real estate values and greater success for retail establishments. "Anyone can open a business. The gym, tennis courts and pool are for the entire community, not just the military," Duany said. "We're hoping to get a 30,000-square-foot Rouse's. It's going to be a tremendous community asset."
In earlier meetings, residents and business owners along the Newton-Teche corridor were concerned that the commercial development within Federal City would hurt the planned revival of their area. At the May 12 meeting, Duany said the project would open up the NSA site and weave the surrounding neighborhoods together into a unified Algiers. He showed that the site would have several entrances, with streets going all the way through, opening up the area to neighborhoods surrounding Behrman Park, and to Tunisburg and beyond.
The design "weaves Algiers together in all directions." The area will be more densely developed than the current NSA. "We're going back to the old New Orleans, with tight, traffic-calmed streets" and the look of a neighborhood rather than an office park. In earlier meetings, residents of Tunisburg, the neighborhood immediately downriver from the site, expressed concern that they were being left out of the project and cut off from the economic improvements promised.
"Virtually everything you asked for, we were able to deliver," Duany said. "We were asked to include the Tunisburg neighborhood. . . . From now on you will always see the Tunisburg neighborhood included.
The plan includes the redesign of the Walker, Delgado and Tubman campuses. Tubman would move onto the Federal City site, and some of the Walker and Delgado buildings would remain while others would be replaced with more attractive buildings, parking areas and green spaces. Duany mentioned that two small high schools, a maritime academy and a high-tech school would be built on the Federal City property.
"What will make this successful is the quality of education we can provide through Walker, Tubman and other schools," said Pres Kabacoff, CEO and Co-Chairman of developer HRI/ECC. "If this community can become known as a center of fine education, and build off of the brand of the Marines," that would be a major victory for Algiers.
Federal City is designed to be green, with solar collectors on the roofs of the parking garages, and even wind and river turbines at the end of every street.
Asked how far the state's $150 million would go toward realizing the plan, Mize said, "We're still finalizing all the contract costs. If I had to estimate, I'd say we'll need $125 to 135 million for the secured compound" portion of the project. For the rest, they will pursue other sources of money, including historic tax credits, new market tax credits, stimulus money aimed at providing green energy and private capital from developers.
"This is going to be the blueprint that we're going to push hard to move forward," he said.
- excerpt from Time-Picayune article
NEW YORK, May 8, 2009 — Deloitte LLP announced today that it has closed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of BearingPoint’s North American Public Services practice for total consideration of $350 million in cash, subject to adjustment, and the assumption of certain BearingPoint liabilities.
Barry Salzberg, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte LLP, said: “We welcome the highly talented BearingPoint Public Services team to Deloitte. We are excited about moving forward together with even stronger capabilities to serve our clients and capitalize on the growth potential for federal, state and local business.”
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP acted as legal counsel to Deloitte and Houlihan Lokey is Deloitte's financial advisor on the transaction. For additional information, please visit www.deloitte.com/us/bearingpoint.
About Deloitte as used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.
Deloitte’s purchase of BearingPoint’s Public Services Division closed on May 9, 2009, as such, Deloitte Consulting’s support to the New Orleans Federal Alliance, Federal City Project, previously provided under the BearingPoint name continues to go forward under Deloitte.
In compliance with the parameters set forth in President-elect Barack Obama's December 3rd letter to Governor Bobby Jindal soliciting advice in identifying "ready to go" projects, the state has developed a list of infrastructure projects that can be implemented quickly. Louisiana has many priorities; however, in compliance with this request, our state agencies were tasked to identify those projects that can immediately create jobs, and draw down resources in 2009 to expedite economic recovery. These projects would be and extension of state efforts already in place to strengthen our long-term economic growth while also immediately putting more Louisianians to work. If Congress and the new administration expand or shorten this timeline beyond 180 days, Louisiana is prepared to immediately provide a list of additional priority projects to meet the specified criteria.
The Louisiana Department of Economic Development recommends the following “ready to go” projects for consideration in the event that federal economic stimulus funding becomes available. Each of these projects represents an opportunity to help create new jobs and stimulate near-term economic growth, while also contributing to a foundation for long-term economic competitiveness.
Federal City New Orleans, LA $77,020,000
Federal City is the public/private partnership lease and redevelopment of approximately 150 acres of the Naval Support Activity, New Orleans into a mixed-use development, anchored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Headquarters, where all facilities for federal agency tenants (e.g., Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Boarder Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard) are designed according to requisite force protection standards. The State of Louisiana has already committed $150 million for Federal City. However, additional funding is needed for several critical planned infrastructure projects that will support federal agency tenants.
"Ready to go" projects up for funding Highways, bridges, coastal restoration, the New Orleans hospital--big ticket projects lacking state funding will soon be chasing the billions of dollars in infrastructure funding that President-elect Obama wants Congress to pass in a mammoth economic stimulus package soon after he takes office
Responding to the Obama transition team request, the Jindal administration has tasked agency heads with assembling lists of building projects that can be quickly let for contract, pending congressional funding.
Speaker of the House Jim Tucker expects the state to ask for more than it ultimately is going to receive, but that is the process. "You have to ask for more than you expect to get," he said.
He is looking for $150 million for construction at the Federal City project to house federal agencies in his Algiers district. The Department of Environmental Quality wants hundreds of millions of dollars for unfunded water and sewer projects for local governments across the state. There are coastal restoration projects ready to go to contract if they are included in the bill. And the Louisiana Recovery Authority already is talking to officials in the new administration about the $492 million the state says it is owed by FEMA to build a new LSU hospital in New Orleans.
The state Department of Transportation and Development has submitted a prioritized list of over $1 billion in projects, with 90 percent of it going to highway construction.
The new president has not specified how much of his expected $775 billion stimulus package will be dedicated to infrastructure or how that will be divided among the states.Because of his opposition to earmarks and the need to speed passage of the bill, it is unlikely that specific projects will be included in the legislation. A spokesman for Sen. Mary Landrieu, who sits on the Appropriations Committee, surmised the infrastructure portion of the bill might set aside pools of money for certain types of projects that could be dispensed through existing formula grant programs, such as the highway trust fund, or direct block grants to states.
Given the current state budget shortfall, the federal stimulus package might represent one of the last big sources of money the state will see to address infrastructure needs.
- excerpt from LaPolitics Weekly article by John Maginnis
It was with great pleasure that the Algiers Development District and NOFA announced the ground breaking for Federal City! The Federal City Groundbreaking Ceremony was held at the Naval Support Activity, New Orleans, West Bank on Tuesday, 30 September at 11:00 AM.
Federal City will be "a critical investment that will help retain an estimated 1,660 jobs in the New Orleans area and add roughly 300 positions for a total of 1,960 jobs, in addition to spurring indirect economic development opportunities and investments throughout the region."
- Governor Jindal, August 14, 2008
"This is a great day for Louisiana and especially New Orleans as this is the largest economic development project in the entire state."
- ADD Chairman and Algiers State Representative Jeff Arnold
In a significant step toward making a campus for federal agencies and the military a reality in Algiers, the Navy and planners have agreed on basic terms for a 75-year lease of the Naval Support Activity's West Bank site, setting the stage for congressional approval. The action culminated months of negotiations and an approaching federally mandated Sept. 30 deadline to set financing and break ground on the "federal city" or else the Algiers base would close.
Senior Navy officials signed the lease Wednesday about 3:30 p.m., one day after state Rep. Jeff Arnold, D-Algiers, chairman of the Algiers Development District board, signed off on the terms on behalf of the city of New Orleans and the state. "We've got some hard work left, but at least we can see the finish line from here," said retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Mize, who has spearheaded the project.
…U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said Tuesday he and other members of the Louisiana delegation are prepared to work with the oversight committees to ensure approval. Financing for the project already has been set. Last month, the State Bond Commission approved the sale of $150 million in bonds, which officials say satisfies Louisiana's financial commitment
- excerpt from The Times Picayune 14AUG08 article by Paul Purpura
New Orleans Federal Alliance announced October 17, 2007 that HRI/ECC, LLC was selected as the Master Developer for the Federal City project. HRI/ECC merges the capabilities and experience of a premier New Orleans’ developer, HRI, and ECC’s local reputation for Hurricane Katrina recovery work and international Federal program management experience. This partnership creates a unique synergy, which when teamed with NOFA’s goals and vision will ensure a successful development effort.
Together, NOFA and HRI/ECC will create a distinguished mixed-use development for federal, non-federal and commercial tenants. Additionally, the vision for Federal City strongly incorporates a vibrant community atmosphere through intelligent development planning, new business, commercial investment and sustainable job creation for the Algiers area.