Federal City Emergency Operations Center

June 29, 2010

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-02) announced the U.S. House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Homeland Security has granted his request for $800,000 to retrofit the Emergency Operations Center at Federal City in Algiers. Subcommittee approval virtually guarantees passage by the full committee. Cao said, “This is a major achievement for the Federal City development, a project vitally important to the economic recovery of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish.”

The Center, which will include a hurricane shelter and quarters for emergency preparedness, pre-disaster mitigation and recovery research, will be the Gulf South’s only such facility certified as meeting Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the most important metrics, including energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The completed facility will be fully sustainable and able to power itself during a storm or other disasters (i.e. not lose power or water supply during a Katrina-like event).

Committee approval of the Emergency Operations Center is the second major Congressional victory for the Federal City project in one month. On May 28th, the full house passed an amendment to the national defense budget authorization, also sponsored by Congressman Cao, allowing the Department of the Navy to transfer fee simple ownership of approximately 156 acres to the Algiers Development District (ADD), a special taxing authority set up by the state of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans. The authorization bill is now under consideration in the Senate.

The property transfer is critical to the success of Federal City because the certainty of local ownership gives prospective private investors confidence in the project. The state Department of Economic Development has put up $150 million for the overall development. Construction is well underway on a building for its anchor tenant, a national headquarters for the Marine Forces Reserve. In addition, robust development for a variety of support functions are progressing well and by September 2011 at least 2,500 people should be working on the site.

Developers plan for Federal City to eventually attract other government agencies and private businesses, creating 10,000 jobs and 1,400 housing units at Federal City. The Department of the Navy, which has occupied the site for more than 100 years, signed off on the public/private development under a compromise agreement with the State to keep the base open after it was targeted for closure in the Defense Department’s 2005 Base Realignment and Closure plan.

Congressman Cao said, “Federal City is one of the biggest economic development projects in the 2nd Congressional District. It is a bright spot in our recovery, as it will bring thousands of new jobs to the area. I am happy to be able to play a part in making it a success. I am committed to doing everything I can to stimulate economic development and job growth in New Olreans and Jefferson Parish, and support for Federal City is just one of the ways I am living up to that commitment.”

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