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Wounded vets community wrapping up second phase of project.

Byline: Andrew Valenti, Reporter

A Gentilly neighborhood for wounded military veterans has completed construction on its second phase.

The nonprofit Bastion Community of Resilience added 20 homes for retired veterans and their families, with preference given to those who have traumatic brain injuries. These homes consist of one, two and three-bedroom residences.

Bastion founder and executive director Dylan Tete said residents have begun to move in and he expects the work to wrap up this month. This brings the total number of residences at the property to 58. The first phase of the project, which began two years ago, was completed earlier this year and includes 38 apartments and a 1,700-square-foot wellness center.

Tete said Bastion recently acquired 1.28 acres of land for phase three of the project, which is devoted to health and wellness space. A committee has been established to consider several options and determine the best use of this space.

"We're really trying to make a name in the New Orleans community as it concerns the concept of wellness," he said.

Bastion recently secured a $450,000 grant from Baptist Community Ministries to continue health and wellness programs which include yoga and meditation classes, self-care workshops, financial literacy courses, legal aid services and counseling.

Tete said Bastion is in discussions with a developer who is building an apartment complex in another area of Louisiana and wants Tete's firm to make this property another community for military veterans. Tete declined to give a specific location, as talks are still ongoing.

The ongoing New Orleans development is located at 1901 Mirabeau Ave. and consists of a total of 5.5 acres. It was granted a 15-year payment in-lieu of taxes, or PILOT, arrangement in 2016.

Under the terms of the PILOT, Bastion would make a base property tax payment of $55,819 upon completion of the project. The figure would increase by 3 percent annually through 2032. At that point, the developers would be responsible for the full assessment of all improvements made to the land.

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Publication:New Orleans CityBusiness
Geographic Code:6MOZA
Date:Sep 5, 2018
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