The city of New Orleans made a pledge to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). The New Orleans City Planning Commission voted to turn over sections of city streets inside the footprint to the state so a new VA hospital can be built just outside the downtown area.
What the VA is planning on building will actually be a biomedical research corridor and teaching hospital. There are some concerns, however, about the adequacy of previous studies focusing on drainage in the area. Local residents are concerned the site the VA plans on using for its new research corridor will be raised from three to five feet, which makes flooding of surrounding properties an issue.
City officials, however, believe better water management in the new plans will make current conditions better. Further, the plans will boost the quantity of green space in the immediate area.
Overcoming the negative aspects of the possibility of increased traffic and noise in the surrounding neighborhoods, the commission voted to give up the city streets under the auspice of “moving the city forward.” The business community looks at the new VA hospital as an opportunity to build a middle class element in New Orleans.
There are 184 properties in the footprint, on the outskirts of downtown. Approximately half of them are currently occupied. Turning over the streets was only the first step in what will be a very lengthy process that will require several more rounds of city approval. It’s likely construction on the VA medical center will not begin for years, but the government is already buying property in the footprint.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.