Competition Site Proposal
The proposed competition site is the former location of the Naval Support Activity (NSA) “East Bank” site located on the east bank of the Mississippi River at mile 93 (not to be confused with the NSA “West Bank” site which is located to the south and being developed as Federal City). The site encompasses 23.55 acres and includes 51 buildings and structures, some of which are included in the National Register of historic buildings. Three large primary buildings exist consisting of 500,000 square feet of floor space per building. The site contains the East Bank Historic District which includes structures 601, 602, 613, 618, 619, and 620 as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
The site was developed and three main buildings were built in 1919 for the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps during World War I. Used as an army depot until February of 1931, buildings 601 and 602 were leased to the Board of Commissioners governing the Port of New Orleans. For two years during the Great Depression, NSA was used as a transient camp for 25,000 people struggling to find work and secure housing and by 1939 became a transient camp for naval personnel. The lease with the Port of New Orleans was cancelled with escalating World War II activities and the East Bank base was renamed the New Orleans Port of Embarkation. From 1955 to 1965 the base was known as the New Orleans Army Terminal until it was transferred to the U.S. Navy and renamed the Naval Support Activity. On September 15, 2011 under the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission the base was officially decommissioned with the West Bank site being redeveloped as Federal City and the East Bank site used by the Port of New Orleans for cruise ship docking and guest parking.
Economics and Community Impact
With the closure of Naval Activity Support New Orleans, the private developer has partnered with the military community and the government to create a truly unique urban redevelopment plan for the West Bank base. The developer has proposed an unprecedented integration of military, civilian, and government uses for the former militarized location, calling the new development Federal City. A new Marine Corps Reserve center has already been constructed and work is progressing on the Federal City Town Center, Retail Center, and parking garage with plans to add 150 hotel rooms and 1,400 dwelling units. The project is expected to provide 2,000 military jobs and 10,000 military and civilian jobs while creating additional jobs, training, and technological advancement of green-building and renewable-energy trades through partnerships with local universities and businesses.
Proposals for the East Bank site to the north of the new Federal City across the Mississippi River have a similar integrative strategy. The port and three large structures are being planned as a command center for disaster relief planning and emergency action. The complex will integrate government as well as NGO and non-profit coordination in future disaster relief efforts centered around the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean. This center will attract the growing disaster research and training industries that have grown out of recent global disasters and center them into a particularly vulnerable region of the world. The Port of New Orleans also has plans to create a new cruise ship terminal on the adjacent property with building 602 used for primary parking. In addition, an existing proposal is exploring how to convert the six floor parking garage into a temporary shelter, housing an estimated 2,000 people in the event of a regional disaster. Scattered about the adjoining Bywater neighborhood are an additional 48 NSA structures formerly owned by the U.S. Navy. These structures have the potential to integrate more residential and commercial uses into the surrounding context. Low-income housing and senior assisted living facilities have been planned as part of the redevelopment process. The final project will hopefully create a truly “mixed-use” district creating additional housing and job growth while attracting a variety of retail, commercial, entertainment, and research uses to the area.
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New Orleans Advisory Task Force (NOATF): Belinda Little-Wood, Executive Director, 504.658.4249
NOATF Project Team: www.nsaeb.com
More Info and Photos:
City gets OK to turn NSA East Bank into disaster center @ neworleanscitybusiness.com
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