NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The former Naval Support Activity Complex in the Bywater neighborhood is getting a $2 million makeover.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell held a press conference alongside city leaders to announce the building’s environmental remediation.

Funded by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Cleanup Grant Program will focus on cleanup activities at sites for future development. The program will also address site contamination such as petroleum, hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants.

“We are honored to be selected as a recipient of EPA’s Brownfields Cleanup Grant Program, which is a critical next step towards the renovation of this immense and derelict property. Once complete, this site will provide a resilient and sustainable source of power, as well as much needed affordable housing, commerce and job creation. My administration will continue to demonstrate our commitment to resolving our decades-long environmental issues and identifying sustainable solutions that are a win-win for our city and our residents and also in direct alignment with our federal infrastructure and climate action goals,” said Cantrell.

The former complex has a long history of serving the community. Built in 1919, it was used as a logistic station to protect the Port of New Orleans from attack, a shelter and a training center for the unemployed and homeless during the Great Depression and later as a recruiting and training station for multiple military branches.

The complex is split between three 84,000 square-foot, six-story buildings, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its military history. 

“The Brownfields program is our primary tool to get long standing impaired properties remediated and rehabilitated. It lets us give new purposes to neglected assets,” said Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Roger Gingles.

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