Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. (Partner) performed a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) for one of New Orleans oldest 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, the Deutsches Haus. Originally located at 200 S. Galvez, the Deutsches Haus was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina and had to be restored by volunteers. Shortly after they reopened their doors, it was taken over by the State of Louisiana in order to build a medical complex.
In 2017, the Deutsches Haus purchased 5.72 acres on the east side of Moss Street, approximately 650 feet north of the intersection of Esplanade Avenue and Moss Street within a mixed-use area of Orleans Parish. To help secure financing, Partner provided an ESA to help identify any environmental conditions as they existed at the subject property.
At the time of the assessment the property was developed with an 8,700 SF warehouse under roof so they could still host their annual Oktoberfest. The new event hall was under construction and pile-driving activities were in-progress during the onsite survey. Other property improvements included former building slabs, drive paths, and parking areas from historical occupancy dating back to the early 1900’s, an elevated AT&T equipment shelter, and a masonry monument.
Onsite operations consist of cultural center activities including meetings, festivals and kid activities, food and beverage services, and general cleaning and building maintenance. These operations aid in supporting the Deutsches Haus mission of celebrating the German culture and heritage.
According to available historical sources, the subject property was undeveloped as early as 1891; developed as the Soldier’s Home/Confederate Veterans Home with multiple structures such as dormitories, infirmary, and offices (1908-1946); Louisiana National Guard complex with building additions such as an armory and rifle range (1949-1975); City of New Orleans Third District Police Offices and intermittent occupancy by the State Delgado College Art Studio (1981-2005); vacant subsequent to the events of Hurricane Katrina (2005); buildings demolished (2009); and acquired for development as the Deutsches Haus cultural center in 2012 (2012-Present).
Partner did not identify any recognized environmental conditions (REC) nor controlled recognized environmental conditions (CREC) during the course of the assessment.
Partner did identify a historical recognized environmental (HREC) condition during the course of the assessment. The HREC was associated with two underground storage tanks (USTs) which were removed with tank bed soil testing and State agency oversight. Subsequent to review of the analytical data, LDEQ granted UST closure with No Further Action (NFA) to the State of Louisiana Military Department, dated July 1998. Based on the removal of the tanks, analytical results, and regulatory closure to the satisfaction of the State, the former fuel USTs were considered a HREC and no further action was considered necessary.
The new Deutsches Haus Community Center completed construction on schedule and opened their doors in November 2018, in time to celebrate the organizations 90th anniversary.