Construction in Algiers, Louisiana, Is Picking Up

Construction in Algiers, Louisiana, is picking up as a new master developer will begin building out Phase 1 of the city-styled, master plan development of Federal City.  The new developer will be Vista Louisiana, and the contract should be a done deal by the end of January.  The terms of developing and building this master planned community in Algiers, LA will include giving preference to local businesses both in the building and construction process as well algiers-proposed-federal-city-developmentas the leasing of the commercial, office, and retail structures upon completion of the town center.  Another of the stipulations is that the Federal City development must adhere to New Orleans’ plan to promote disadvantaged businesses.  The contract is good for 10 years upon which it will be reviewed to be either terminated or extended.

Funding for the project will come entirely from money raised by the developer.  The city of Algiers and / or local governments will have no fiscal responsibility to provide any money towards the project. However, the two boards – the Federal City Joint Development Committee and the Algiers Development District boards – will benefit and be reimbursed from rents paid by tenants.  This profit will then be put back into the construction project.

Vista Louisiana, headed by Larry Starkman of Vista Trust and Devere Construction – both companies out of Illinois and Michigan respectively.  Based on background inquiries, Starkman “came back very favorably,” and DeVere Construction has “a very substantial balance sheet,” said Fred Chevalier, the attorney who is advising the two boards on Federal City matters.

Tom Miller, a spokesman for Vista Louisiana, said the partners “are privileged” to be selected to “turn the property now known as Federal City into a beautiful mixed-use development.”

The master plan design will be based on the design already drawn up by urban planners Duany Plater-Zynerk.  In 2009, this architectural design called for a walk, shop, dine, and live type plan where residents could live locally, shop and dine-out within walking distance of their new homes, townhomes, and condos, and also walk to their jobs if applicable to the business which would take up residence in the master plan.  Vista Louisiana intends to build on this original concept starting with Phase 1 which is detailed as the 29-acre Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans, home to Marine Forces Reserve headquarters and its subordinate commands, and its supporting amenities, including a 400-seat auditorium, a childcare center, a 1,000-space parking garage, and a hotel.  The most important aspect of this process is to get direct feedback from the West Bank residents of Algiers in Jefferson Parish to ensure that they are meeting community needs as it pertains to residential and commercial planning.

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