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Tuesday, 01 February 2011 14:13
HUD Approves New Orleans Navy Site For Disaster Management Center
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Turning disaster lemon into disaster lemonade?


New Orleans just might do this as HUD has approved the  city’s Reuse Plan to return the Naval Support Activity (NSA) “East Bank” site to a use aligned with its original purpose.

Under the Reuse Plan, the site is proposed to house a disaster management center and essential personnel during a catastrophic event, store essential supplies and equipment, and provide space for agencies to deliver services associated with disaster management and recovery.  Additionally, 2.5 acres of this land will be used to develop permanent supportive housing for the homeless, as required by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act of 2005.

 

“Planned with the public’s input, the NSA site will provide crucial services during emergency situations in our city,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “This center will serve as an important asset as we work to prepare and respond to disasters. Public safety is my number one priority.”

 

Landrieu added, “Disaster management and recovery has become an industry that will spur economic growth in our region, and this project presents an opportunity to center that industry in New Orleans. The site is expected to create 1,600 construction jobs and nearly 1,000 permanent jobs in the future.”

 

A complete environmental assessment of the NSA, conducted by the Navy, is forthcoming. The site will be closed as a military facility by September 15, 2011 under BRAC. 

 

“HUD’s approval of the Reuse Plan is another step towards reusing and fully redeveloping this historic facility,” said Cedric Grant, Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development. “This project will enhance our local economy and local tax revenues while preserving and protecting the unique character of the facility.”

 

“During Hurricane Katrina, New Orleanians witnessed first-hand the devastating consequences of the lack of disaster preparedness,” said Belinda Little-Wood, Executive Director of the NSA New Orleans Task Force. “In the public meetings held during the Reuse Plan preparation, it was clear that among all suggestions, the public preferred to reclaim the historic buildings for use in preparation for other national emergencies. The concept of a centralized disaster management center was suggested in a public meeting and that became the fundamental model explored by the planning team.”

 

The Reuse Plan and information related to all previous public meetings can be found here.

 

 

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