NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On Monday, July 11, the City of New Orleans announced that the abandoned Naval base located at the intersection of Dauphine Street and Poland Avenue is officially closed.

At 11 a.m., city leaders and public safety agencies, including the Office of Economic Development, the New Orleans Police Department, and the UNITY of Greater New Orleans, conducted an intensive walk-through and cleanup of the site.

Jeff Schwartz, the Director of the Office of Economic Development spoke about the redevelopment of the million-and-a-half-square foot naval base. He said the goal is to turn the abandoned base into housing and economic development.

He said he is optimistic about the process of getting it done. ” I think we are at the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Schwartz.

He said the base used to have over 4,000 people working there every day since 1919. Schwartz said they want to build 300 units of housing on the base, along with retail and commercial use.

In order to keep the base maintained and secured three security guards will be onsite for 24 hours, 7 days a week.

“I still think it is going to take 6 to 8 months to get a financial closing”, said Schwartz.