St. Bernard Parish
St. Bernard Parish and its residents are impressively resilient. St. Bernard was one of the hardest hit parishes by Hurricane Katrina, which unleashed a 25-foot storm surge in the parish and damaged virtually every building. Now, St. Bernard is the fastest growing parish in Louisiana. Over the past four years , St. Bernard’s population grew by 23.7%. Determined and proactive organizations have been leading the recovery, including the St. Bernard Parish School Board and the Port of St. Bernard.
The Port of St. Bernard exemplifies a thriving business climate across the parish. Its industrial parks, warehouses and office space are at 98% occupancy. Fifty businesses are currently located at the port, a number that is increasing. The Chalmette and Arabi Terminals support 800 full-time jobs, with an additional 1,200 indirect jobs attributed to the Port’s tenants. The year 2012 set a record for the port with 10.2 millions of short tons of traffic. Associated Terminals, one of the port’s most prominent tenants, acquired the assets of St. James Stevedoring Company in 2014 which resulted in the largest and most diverse stevedoring and terminal services provider operating on the Lower Mississippi River.
The neighborhood of Old Arabi is in the midst of a renaissance, with a resurgent residential real estate market and the opening of the Aycock Barn, a community marketplace and meeting place. The area has also seen the opening of 40 Arpent Brewery and Larkin Gaudet Studios and the relocation of Studio Inferno.
In St. Bernard, the fishing community had rebounded, and the film industry is booming with 18 feature films, commercials and TV shows filmed just in 2014.
MAJOR CHANGES SINCE KATRINA
School System: St. Bernard Public Schools are ranked 8th in the state with an A rating. Chalmette High School is now a state-of-the-art facility featuring a theatre, a cultural arts center, and an Olympic size swimming pool.
Higher Education: Nunez Community College features a premier PTECH program, increased enrollment from pre-Katrina, a new cultural arts center and administration building. It is one of seven community colleges in the state.
Healthcare: St. Bernard Parish Hospital, a state-of-the-art, 133,000 square ft. facility, was completed in 2012.
Recreation: Val Riess Recreation Complex, Louisiana’s premier baseball and softball complex, was opened and represents a $20m+ investment in the community.
Culture: Maumus Center is a renovated 1929 structure in Arabi featuring a Katrina museum, a planetarium, a science center and theatre space.
- $1.4 billion invested
- 23 miles of new floodwall
- 2 new navigation floodgates
- 12 new land based floodgates
- 4 new highway floodgates
- 1 new railroad floodgate
KEY COMMUNITY FOCUSES
St. Bernard Parish is a short drive to New Orleans’ French Quarter and even closer to the popular Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods, but St. Bernard retains its own unique culture and identity. It is home to annual festivals such as Crawfish Fest, Los Isleños Festival, and Sugar Fest and features tourists sites like the Chalmette Battlefield. Its low cost of living and low crime rate (1 murder in 2014) and its strong sense of community make the parish an attractive place to live. The thriving port and seafood industry are strong economic engines.
NEW PHYSICAL ASSETS
- $1.4 billion in flood protection infrastructure including 23 miles of new floodwall, 2 new navigation floodgates, 12 new land based floodgates, 4 new highway floodgates, and 1 new railroad floodgate
- St. Bernard Parish Hospital: 133,000 square feet, 400 employees
- Aycock Barn Visitors Center
- Maumus Center
- Val Riess Recreation Complex
- Chalmette High