Marine Corps Opens New HQs in Federal City, as Algiers Revives

by Amalia Otet, Associate Editor The Marine Corps Reserve reached a major milestone on June 27, when it hosted the official opening ceremony for its new national headquarters at the old Navy base in Algiers. The 411,000-square-foot, Class A, force-protected office [...]

by Amalia Otet, Associate Editor

The Marine Corps Reserve reached a major milestone on June 27, when it hosted the official opening ceremony for its new national headquarters at the old Navy base in Algiers. The 411,000-square-foot, Class A, force-protected office building cost approximately $166 million to build and outfit, supported by both the state and the Marine Corps in a public-private partnership, according to The Times-Picayune.

The LEED-certified building was developed by a joint venture of HRI Properties and Environmental Chemical Corp., with Woodward Design + Build as general contractor. The achievement was celebrated not only by the military, which is thrilled with its new high-tech command headquarters, but the entire community, since it will attract long-awaited investors and new businesses to the Algiers neighborhood.

The Marine Force Reserve HQ, or simply MarForRes, is a small part–about 15¬†percent–of a much bigger project called Federal City, which broke ground in September 2008 and will take approximately 15 years to complete. The 155-acre mixed-use development will feature not only federal and military facilities but also residential units, restaurants, hotel rooms, recreation and retail centers and other lifestyle-focused amenities. Its location is a plus when it comes to safety and protection from floods, as Federal City is located on one of the highest points in New Orleans. The Marine Force Reserve is just the anchor tenant; the rest will follow.

The first phase completed, the next step on the construction agenda is the renovation/expansion of the YMCA into a 40,000-square-foot facility that will add a new swimming pool and an outdoor waterpark to the existing fitness center in a $4.5 million project, according to New Orleans City Business. There are also plans for a grocery store, dwelling units and an elementary charter school to be built in the next phases.

Federal City is one of the top construction projects of 2011, its importance deriving from the economic boost it engenders; the amount of jobs it creates, starting with the 2,000 military jobs in its first phases and growing to 10,000 federal and civilian jobs later on; and the overall positive impact it has on the New Orleans business sector.