[StBernard] Editorial Commends Recovery Efforts of Jackson Barracks and Federal City in N.O.

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Thu Nov 15 21:31:15 EST 2007

>From time to time the Louisiana Recovery Authority shares editorials and articles regarding the recovery. New Orleans City Business published the following editorial this week, applauding the recovery efforts of Jackson Barracks and Federal City in New Orleans.

New Orleans City Business Editorial Commends Recovery Efforts of Jackson Barracks and Federal City in New Orleans

Federal City, Jackson Barracks inspire N.O. recovery
by CityBusiness

In the past 170 years, Jackson Barracks has been a military hospital, a soldiers camp during the Spanish-American War and home to the Louisiana National Guard.

Federal City, on the other hand, has been mostly a well-founded dream.

The viability of both projects was placed in doubt immediately post-Katrina but no more.

And, despite the disparity in age, the two projects share many more great similarities.

Today, the $200-million projects serve as bookends heralding the New Orleans construction recovery economy destined to take off full bore in 2008.

Federal City is not as far along as Jackson Barracks. But in less than one year, officials plan to break ground in Algiers, creating up to 10,000 jobs, according to retired Marine Maj. Gen. David Mize, chairman of Mayor C. Ray Nagin's Mayor's Military Advisory Committee. Mize is one of the leaders we've been able to count on pre- and post-Katrina.

The Federal City concept saved the Naval Support Activity base in Algiers in 2005. It will consolidate the military's Bywater facilities to state-of-the-art facilities in Algiers.

NSA is headquarters for U.S. Marine and Naval reserves with about 4,600 employees.

Federal City will be a primary catalyst helping New Orleans recover. Plans are for 2,000
Marine reservists to be housed in the 162-acre Federal City, which will be a small metropolis filled with movie theaters, restaurants, shopping outlets, residential units, gyms and schools.

Officials say the Jackson Barracks renovation will be complete in 2009 with 23 new buildings, 70 remodeled structures - and the base's $110-million annual economic impact intact.

The barracks took on up to 22 feet of water during Katrina at the 100-yard-wide, mile-long stretch of land in Orleans Parish between the Lower Ninth Ward and Arabi. The historic structures, including one of the largest collections of antebellum architecture in the country, were saved. Preservationists will note with satisfaction newer buildings from this century had to be razed.

National Guard Col. Daniel Bordelon, construction officer in charge of the barracks rebuild, and Maj. Gen. Hunt Downer, head of the Louisiana National Guard, have it on a fast track. Downer said the hurricane devastation allowed them to create a master plan for

Jackson Barracks, which lacked cohesiveness after 170 years of organic growth.

Jackson Barracks is an incredible architectural treasure and a staple of the community.

Bordelon and Downer and all their workers deserve great credit for preserving it.

The progress made in revamping Jackson Barracks and realizing the Federal City potential means much more than the $200 million being spent on each project. It means more economic security for thousands of workers and a sturdier underpinning for the New Orleans economy.

To read the editorial on the New Orleans City Business Web site visit: http://www.neworleanscitybusiness.com/uptotheminute.cfm?recid=13877 <http://www.neworleanscitybusiness.com/uptotheminute.cfm?recid=13877>

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, claiming 1,464 lives, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses. The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body that was created in the aftermath of these storms by Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to lead one of the most extensive rebuilding efforts in the world. The LRA is a 33-member body which is coordinating across jurisdictions, supporting community recovery and resurgence, ensuring integrity and effectiveness, and planning for the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana.


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