Federal City Continues to Grow
26 March 2012
Federal City in Algiers is set to open yet another key component in the near future. The Federal City Auditorium is a 400 seat facility will provide a conference center for use by both the military and for public use providing yet another benefit to the surrounding community.
Federal City’s auditorium expected to open next month
26 March 2012
Workers are putting the final touches on the Federal City’s auditorium in Algiers. The 400-seat conference center, estimated to cost $4 million is expected to be available for use next month.
The Navy sought the facility in negotiating the lease of about 150 acres for redevelopment as the Federal City. The land and many buildings was part of the Naval Support Activity, a portion of which already has been converted to Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans.
While the auditorium was built to satisfy lease requirements, it also will be available for general public use.
“I think it will be a very nice facility and give the community a great option for a wide variety of community uses,” said retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Mize, president of the New Orleans Federal Alliance, the nonprofit overseeing the redevelopment of the former Navy base for the state Department of Economic Development.
The auditorium was built using a portion of the $150 million the state pledged to the Federal City project after the Department of the Navy announced in 2005 that it wanted to close the century-old Naval installation in the Base Realignment and Closure round, or BRAC.
Most of the state’s seed money was used to build the 29-acre Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans, home to the national headquarters for Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North, which is charged with overseeing the Marine Corps’ piece of the Defense Department command charged with defending the continental United States, the U.S. Northern Command.
Developers envision Federal City to be a mix of governmental and business tenants and residences and other businesses that support the larger tenants. The Marine Corps Support Facility, while a stand-alone military installation in the Marine Corps’ inventory, is viewed as the anchor tenant for Federal City.
Like the auditorium, a 1,000-spot parking garage also was required by the Navy in the lease. That garage, which provides parking for the Marine Corps Support Facility, is complete, and its ground floor includes retail space that so far has attracted a Navy Federal Credit Union branch, a fast-food outlet and a medical office.
Developers will retain many of the Navy’s original buildings, which will be converted for modern use.
The auditorium, at Guadalcanal and Carmick streets, was built in the shadow of the century-old “Building 10,” which as also carried the name “F. Edward Hebert Building,” for the former once-powerful Louisiana congressman credited with bringing much of the military presence to the region.
Building 10 is an adminstrative building that was used as a district headquarters for the Marine Corps. One of its last occupants was the Marine Corps Band New Orleans, which now has its own building inside the Marine Corps Support Facility.
Its new neighbor, the auditorium, is set two blocks from the Marine Corps Support Facility, on the fringes of Federal City’s “town center,” or the envisioned central hub of the project’s business district.