Mayor LaToya Cantrell recently joined other officials and community leaders to break ground on the $4.31 million Desire Florida Multi-Service Center in District D.

“Efficiently and effectively spending federal funding on projects like the Desire Florida Multi-Service Center perfectly illustrates how we can be good stewards of the funding we’re receiving under the American Rescue Plan Act. We recognize the importance of keeping these infrastructure projects moving throughout New Orleans, including right here in District D. We’re also excited that this NORD facility will provide year-round programming for seniors during the day and after-school and cultural programs during the evening hours. This gives NORD more flexibility in serving the residents of the Desire and Florida communities,” said Mayor Cantrell.

“Today’s groundbreaking marks a long-awaited addition to NORD and the City of New Orleans public spaces identified for use by our Senior community,” said Larry Barabino, Jr., NORD CEO. “We are thrilled to bring this new master-planned facility online, with essential and modern amenities to support the surrounding community and seniors year-round.”

Mayor Cantrell was also joined by Vincent A. Smith, director of Capital Projects Administration; Marguerite Doyle-Johnston, president of the Upper Ninth Ward Association; Renee Cambrice, president of the Liberty Terrace Homeowners Association; Chuck Morse executive director of Thrive New Orleans; and Katherine Prevost, president of the Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association.

The project for this 11,418-square-foot facility is mainly funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will include a full commercial kitchen, staff offices, a music room, two multimedia meeting rooms, three multipurpose rooms, flex space, off-street parking, and an exterior rear yard.

“Community-based projects like the Desire Florida Multi-Service Center offer residents more options to enhance their quality of life by giving them access to affordable facilities and programs that bring families and neighbors together,” said Eddie Williams, FEMA Infrastructure Branch Director. “FEMA’s partnership with the City of New Orleans and the State will continue as additional projects are completed or identified for future enhancements.”

Under the Cantrell Administration, the City’s to-date investment in City facilities and parks in District D totals $39 million. Completed projects in District D include:

  • JJIC 28-bed addition – $18.2 million
  • Nora Navra Library – $3.8 million
  • Parks & Parkways Green House – $2.9 million
  • Hunters Field Phase III addition – $1.8 million
  • Harden Playground (New Restroom/Concessions Bldg.) – $743,500
  • Joe Bartholomew Golf Course/Pontchartrain Park Walking Path – $630K
  • Bunny Friend Restroom/Concession Bldg. Renovations – $198,000

“(As District D Councilman), I have advocated for this multi-service center, said Councilman Jared Brossett. “The end result is a flexible and adaptable space that will serve as an anchor for the Desire/Florida neighborhood for many years to come. From meeting spaces to dance studios to its commercial kitchen, this center is a significant investment in our residents, especially our seniors.”

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