Non-Flood Authority prepares to sell 12.6 acres of former naval reserve site
A Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority committee agreed to have a site survey conducted for a tract of land between Lakeshore Drive and Leroy Johnson Drive to better present the land to developers.
The Non-Flood Authority’s commercial real estate committee met on June 20, where they discussed the possibility to recommend to the full board the issuance of a request for proposals for the site. If approved, then interested developers may submit their proposal.
The site, a former Naval Reserve on Lakeshore Drive near the UNO East Campus, measures 12.6 acres and has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina. The location exists within an educational campus district, so the Non-Flood Authority checked with the city to see if it was necessary to collaborate with the University of New Orleans (UNO) or Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) for development proposals.
Executive Director of the Non-Flood Authority, Jesse Noel, said that the City Planning Commission informed him that because the Authority owns the property, any development may be accepted as long as it complies within zoning.
Wilma Heaton, chairwoman of the Non-Flood Authority board, said she attended the commercial real estate meeting to inform the committee of a pitch for a $58 million science museum and hurricane protection center that would require four acres.
“We are getting some good interest from around on some possible, really good community projects,” Heaton added.
Officials said at the meeting that it’s possible that they will receive many proposals from developers that would require far less than the 12.6 acres.
Eugene Green, chairman of the commercial real estate committee, made a motion to lease only six acres of the former Naval Reserve site on Lakeshore Drive, with the restriction that both UNO and SUNO must have access to a minimum of 1,000 square feet of any improvement made to the site.
Non-Flood Authority Real Estate Consultant, Al Pappalardo, heavily advised against issuing out a request for proposals without more knowledge about the site and how it should be divided. Green withdrew his motion shortly after.
Papplardo explained that the Non-Flood Authority needs to divide up the property first, in order to potentially leave that six-acre parcel that Green proposed. Pappalardo also suggested that a site survey be conducted for the “tear-drop shaped piece of property” to ensure that the 12.6 acres are still intact, due to levee raises occurring over the years.
Green said a motion was not necessary to be passed for Noel to negotiate a site survey of the former Naval Reserve site, so the committee agreed to continue discussing the property at their next meeting in the Lakefront Airport on Thursday, July 20 at 3:30 p.m.